CVU juniors honored in Montpelier

(L to R) Secretary of State Jim Condos, Grace Vincent, Dana Kaufman, Thomas Keller, and teacher Ute Otley.

Four Champlain Valley Union High School students were recognized for writing winning essays in the Secretary of State’s annual essay contest. Each wrote about the importance of voting in a democracy. The students were challenged to understand the reasons for low voter turnout, especially among young voters, and to tackle suggestions to improve voter participation.
Williston resident, Jonathan Liebman, first prize with his entry, “Voting in the United States: A Troubling Quandry.” Shelburne residents Dana Kaufman (“Fifty-one Percent”) and Grace Vincent (“A Medley of Issues”) and Hinesburg resident Thomas Keller (“Voting Among Young Vermonters”) won Honorable Mentions. All four are students in Ute Otley’s Advance Placement U.S. Government and Politics classes.
Jim Condos presented the awards at the State House on May 22. “It was very difficult to select winners from the many fine essays and creative posters we received,” said Condos. “This program is a great way to get younger students thinking about their state and its history, while encouraging older students to examine the nature of self-governance and its importance in a free society.”
The essay contest is part of the Secretary of State’s civics program for children. The contest includes poster submissions from younger students and essays from middle school and high school students. Details of the contest, along with all winning submissions can be found at http://www.sec.state.vt.us/kids/contest/2012_winners.html.

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