Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett Announces 2023 Civics Essay Contest Winners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett today announced the results of the 2023 Civics Essay Contest, which included 12 winners.

The contest was open to all Tennessee students in public, charter, private school, or home school associations in grades pre-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.”

This year’s winners are:

9-12th Grade:

First: Ethan Elder, Home School (Blount County)

Second: Ellie Lee, Girls Preparatory School (Hamilton County)

Third: Lisa Lin, Signal Mountain Middle High School (Hamilton County)

6-8th Grade:

First: Jasmine Smith, Knoxville Montessori School (Knox County)

Second: Zoe Meredith, Tipton-Rosemark Academy (Shelby County)

Third: Isabella Duran, Burns Middle School (Dickson County)

3-5th Grade:

First: Eliana Page, Avery Trace Middle School (Putnam County)

Second: Meeka Beaty, Rickman Elementary School (Overton County)

Third: Nancy Claire Johnson, Farragut Intermediate School (Knox County)

K-2nd Grade:

First: Margaret Brown, Lookout Mountain Elementary School (Hamilton County)

Second: Chandler Scull, Riverwood Elementary (Shelby County)

Third: Sadie Peak, Rickman Elementary (Overton County)

“I am proud of and want to congratulate our 2023 winners and all of the 7,749 students from across Tennessee who participated in this year’s Civics Essay Contest,” said Secretary Hargett. “Through their participation, these students learned why their vote matters, and they are better prepared to participate in our electoral process as adults.”

Each winner receives a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a trip to the State Capitol. First-place winners receive a $500 scholarship, second-place winners receive $ 250, and third-place winners receive $100.

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 sos.tn.gov/civics.