2017 Civics Essay Contest Winners Announced

Monday, December 18, 2017
Students writing at a table

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 civics essay contest, an annual initiative created to encourage students to be actively engaged citizens.

Students were asked to write about citizenship with length requirements varying by grade level. Winners will receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a trip to the State Capitol this spring. First place winners receive a $500 scholarship, with second and third place winners receiving $250 and $100 respectively.

“I’m thrilled more than 1,000 students from across the state wrote an essay for the contest. The students demonstrated a passion for actively participating in their communities at a young age,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Our long-term goal is to increase civic engagement across the state.”

2017 Civics Essay Contest Winners

Ninth – 12th Grade:

  • First: Simon Jolly, Hardin Valley Academy (Knox County)
  • Second: Karla Hines, Whitehaven High School (Shelby County)
  • Third: Kennedy Cole, Mt. Juliet High School (Wilson County)
  • Honorable Mention: Gaige Guyer, Powell High School (Knox County)

Sixth – Eighth Grade:

  • First: Grace Darke, Christ the King School (Davidson County)
  • Second: Isabelle Sorensen, East Hamilton Middle High School (Hamilton County)
  • Third: Lauren Mansfield, Centertown Elementary School (Warren County)
  • Honorable Mention: Lauren Perry, Westwood Middle School (Coffee County)

Third – Fifth Grade:

  • First: Annabelle Kelly, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Hamilton County)
  • Second: Asa Cullity, South Cumberland Elementary School (Cumberland County)
  • Third: Sam Daugherty, Homeschool, Classical Conversations (Montgomery County)
  • Honorable Mentions: Elsa Smith, Covenant Academy (Warren County); Maddie Boyd, Oak Elementary School (Shelby County)

Kindergarten – Second Grade:

  • First: Maci Aylor, Blue Grass Elementary School (Knox County)
  • Second: Kirsten Williams, Ezell-Harding Christian School (Davidson County)
  • Third: Brady Watts, Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center (Davidson County)
  • Honorable Mention: Ava Aldridge, Allons Elementary School (Overton County)

The contest, along with last year’s successful Student Mock Election, is part of the office’s civic engagement program.

The civic engagement program also offers lesson plans based on the Tennessee Blue Book created by Tennessee teachers. The goal is to offer an easy way for teachers to incorporate civic engagement into their curriculum.

For more information on the essay contest, Student Mock Election or lesson plans visit sos.tn.gov/civics.