Secretary of State Tre Hargett Honors Overton County Students Beaty & Peak as Civics Essay Winners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett recently honored Overton County students Meeka Beaty and Sadie Peak for winning 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.” 

Beaty, a student at Rickman Elementary School, placed second in the 3-5th grade category. Peak, who also attends Rickman Elementary School, placed third in the K-2nd grade category.

“Congratulations to Meeka Beaty and Sadie Peak on their second and third-place finishes in the 2023 Civics Essay Contest,” said Secretary Hargett. “Students like Meeka and Sadie demonstrate the future of our great state is bright.”

Both Beaty and Peak earned TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarships for their winning essays. 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 free lesson plans to help teachers incorporate civic engagement and citizenship into their curriculum. The plans, based on the Tennessee Blue Book, were initiated by the Secretary of State’s office and created by Tennessee teachers. For more information about the Civics Essay Contest and the Secretary of State’s other civic engagement education efforts, visit