Secretary Hargett Presented Chestnut Ridge Academy Student with Third-Place Award in Civics Essay Contest

Secretary Hargett Presented Chestnut Ridge Academy Student with Third-Place Award in Civics Essay Contest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Representative Clay Doggett and Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented Chestnut Ridge Academy student Elina Williamson with an award for her third-place finish in the 3-5th grade category in the statewide 2022 Civics Essay Contest.

“Congratulations to Elina for earning third place in the 3-5th grade category and recognizing the privilege and responsibility we have to vote as shared in your essay,” said Secretary Hargett. “This is why our office created the Civics Essay Contest. We strive for students to become more civically educated and ready to participate in our electoral process once they become adults.”

For her third-place finish, Williamson received a $100 TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a visit to the State Capitol.

“I’m so proud of Elina and all of the very talented students from across the state who participated. I appreciate their teachers and parents for supporting their desire to learn more about civics and how voting strengthens democracy at all levels of government,” said Rep. Doggett.

The 2022 Civics Essay Contest was open to all Tennessee students in public, charter, private school or home school associations in grades PreK to 12. Schools chose up to two essays from each grade level to submit for the contest.

The Secretary of State’s office launched the Civics Essay Contest in 2016. The 2022 theme was “Why Your Vote Matters.” Previous essay themes included voting, citizenship, leadership and civic duty.

The Secretary of State’s Civics Essay Contest, Anne Dallas Dudley Award, College Voter Registration Competition and Student Mock Election are part of their longstanding civics engagement efforts to prepare students to be actively engaged citizens. The Secretary of State also offers lesson plans to help teachers incorporate civic engagement and citizenship into their curriculum. The free lesson plans were created by Tennessee teachers and are based on the Tennessee Blue Book.

For more information about the Civics Essay Contest and the Secretary of State’s other civic engagement education efforts, visit