Secretary of State Announces Winners of Essay Contest for Tennessee Students Who Served as Poll Officials

Friday, January 8, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office is proud to announce the 2020 Civics Essay Contest winners for students who served as poll officials during the Nov. 3 election.

“I commend all of the students who stepped up to serve as poll officials for the November election. They performed critical polling site tasks, which helped their local election commission run a safe and secure election,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “By participating, these students saw the civic process in action and are now more prepared to be actively engaged citizens and our next generation of leaders.”

This year’s civics essay contest was open to any Tennessee resident, age 16 or older, who is enrolled in a public, charter or private school or home school association, who worked as a poll official during early voting or on Election Day for the Presidential election. Essays were judged on creativity, organization, development of ideas and response to the theme, civic duty.

2020 Essay Contest Winners

1st: Gena Ann Parker – Millington Central High School (Shelby County)
2nd: Sydni Aylor – Bolivar Central High School (Hardeman County)
3rd: Avery Pace – Lexington High School (Henderson County)

1st: Matthew Shipley – Pope John Paul II High School (Sumner County)
2nd: Bailey Glenn – Warren County High School (Warren County)
3rd: Tucker Mountain – Livingston Academy (Overton County)

1st: Callie Carson – Scott High School (Scott County)
2nd: Abbigail Miller – Cumberland County High School (Cumberland County)
3rd: McKenna Garren – Loudon High School (Loudon County)

These contest winners will all receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship. The three first-place winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship, the second and third place winners receive $500 and $250 scholarships, respectively.

This essay contest is part of the Secretary of State’s civics engagement initiative to prepare students to be actively engaged citizens. For more information about the essay contest and our other civic engagement education efforts, visit