Secretary of State Tre Hargett Honors Burns Middle School Student Isabella Duran as Civics Essay Winner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett recently honored Burns Middle School student Isabella Duran as a winner of the statewide 2023 Civics Essay Contest.

The contest was open to all Tennessee students in public, charter, private school, or home school associations in grades K to 12. Schools selected up to two essays from each grade level to submit for the contest, which featured the theme “Why Civility Matters.” 

Duran placed third in the 6-8th grade category.

“Congratulations to Isabella Duran on her third-place finish in the 2023 Civics Essay Contest,” said Secretary Hargett. “Students like Isabella demonstrate the future of our great state is bright.”

Duran visited the State Capitol on March 21, 2024, to receive her award. She also earned a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship for her winning essay. Statewide, 7,749 students participated in this year’s contest.

The Secretary of State’s Civics Essay Contest, Anne Dallas Dudley Award, College Voter Registration Competition, and Student Mock Election are part of the office’s longstanding civics engagement efforts to prepare students to be actively engaged citizens. 

The Secretary of State’s office also offers lesson plans to help teachers incorporate civic engagement and citizenship into their curriculum. The free lesson plans were initiated by the Secretary of State’s office and created by Tennessee teachers. These plans 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