Story and photos by staff reporter Nora Drenner
Students found to be academically on top of the game while exemplifying outstanding characteristics such as leadership and citizenship by engaging in extra-curricular activities within the school and out in the community are among the criteria used to identify students of the year.
Late last month, amid a packed house during a Sabine Parish school board meeting, students in fifth, eighth and 12th grades in each district school – Converse, Ebarb, Florien, Many, Negreet, Peasant Hill and Zwolle – were recognized as students of the year in their respective school.
District winners were also announced and presented with plaques and will move to the next leg-the regional level of the Louisiana Student of the Year competition.
Additionally, the local chapter of The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) organization, as well as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Zwolle-Ebarb Post 5187 and auxiliary were on hand to acknowledge several deserving students.
Since its founding in 1890, DAR goals have been historical, educational and patriotic. The patriotic component fosters patriotism and love of county.
To that end, the DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest open to high school seniors encourages and rewards the qualities of good citizenship.
Once a student is chosen as the DAR Good Citizen the student is invited to participate in the scholarship portion of the program.
This consists of a personal statement and essay. Student participation in the scholarship portion of the program is optional.
Similarly, the VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in the future generation.
Its Voice of Democracy audio-essay program offers high school students in grades ninth through 12th the opportunity to express themselves through a democratic and patriotic-themed essay. Participants record original three to five-minute essays and submit the essay in writing.
Students in grades sixth through eighth can enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest.
The essay contest encourages students to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme.
This year’s theme for both VFW programs was What Makes America Great. Local first place winners go onto to compete at the district level.
Converse school students of the year are fifth grader Landry Remedies, eighth grader Summer Brumley and senior Sarah Friday.
Ebarb school students of the year are fifth grader Dawson Neugent, eighth grader Grant Bartch and senior Canada Sepulvado.
Florien school students of the year are fifth grader Kodane Brown, eighth grader, Sarah Green and senior Elizabeth Richwine.
Many schools students of the year are fifth grader Amelia Fluitt, eighth grader Maddox Lapp, and senior grader Ethan Penfield.
Negreet school students of the year are fifth grader Jake Ramsey, eight grader Ava brown, and senior grader Victoria Townson.
Pleasant Hill school students of the year are fifth grader Leeland McCammond, eighth grader Carmen Addison and senior Nieshia Scott.
Zwolle school students of the year are fifth grader Kellen Cox, eighth grader Dawson Quade Leone and senior Nicolas Tamel.
District-wide winners are fifth grader Amelia Fluitt, eighth grader Summer Brumley and senior Elizabeth Richwine.
Local DAR Good Citizen Award winners are seniors Elizabeth Richwine, Sarah Friday, Victoria Townsend, Ethan Pinfield and Nick Ebarb.
Presenting the DAR awards was Louisiana Society First Vice Regent Katie Alford Lombardini.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Zwolle-Ebarb Post 5187 Voice of Democracy Youth essay contest winner for 2019-2020 is James A. Ebarb II of Zwolle High School.
VFW Zwolle-Ebarb Post 5187 Patriot’s Pen youth essay first place winner is Katy Bass and the second-place winner is Annabelle Bagley, both are Converse school students.
On hand to present the VFW Zwolle-Ebarb Post 5187 awards were VFW member Walt Korb and auxiliary member Pat Getschel.