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Thu, March 21

Liberty sixth-grader wins DAR essay contest

First place winner for sixth-grade, Shane Pryor, bottom right, received a medal Monday for his essay in the Daughters of the American Revolution American History Contest. From left are Isabella Beilfuss, third place tie; DAR Regent Kathy Machmer; Rebecca Snyder, third place tie; Dorothy Castanos, DAR past-Regent; Shane Pryor, first place; and Bridget Koehl, second place.<br>
Trib Photo/Sue Tone

First place winner for sixth-grade, Shane Pryor, bottom right, received a medal Monday for his essay in the Daughters of the American Revolution American History Contest. From left are Isabella Beilfuss, third place tie; DAR Regent Kathy Machmer; Rebecca Snyder, third place tie; Dorothy Castanos, DAR past-Regent; Shane Pryor, first place; and Bridget Koehl, second place.<br> Trib Photo/Sue Tone

Stepping into the character of a young boy and his friend may be easy to imagine, but writing scenes from 1788 and 1814 - complete with dialogue - is quite a task for middle school students.

An assignment in Christina Poeppel's sixth-grade classroom at Liberty Traditional School based on the Yavapai Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution's annual American History Contest earned Shane Pryor a first place medal.

Shane submitted his 1,000-word story to the Yavapai Chapter of the DAR for its contest with the topic title, "Young America Takes a Stand: The War of 1812," and won first place for sixth- grade in Yavapai County. This year marks the 200th anniversary of that war. The essay requirements were to write about being alive during the War of 1812 and have a friend who became famous.

In his essay, Shane begins by playing war (Revolutionary War) with his friend, Francis, on a hot summer day. Shane's first person character mentions how his mother assumes the two boys are always together when they go into the house for lemonade.

"We were like two peas in a pod, two humps on a camel; we were stuck like super-sticky glue! In simple words, we were the bestest of friends," he wrote of his friendship with Francis Scott Key.

Later, in 1814, he picks up the newspaper the day after the battle at Fort McHenry and reads that his friend Francis survived the battle and wrote a poem that begins, "Oh, say can you see..."

Shane received a certificate and a medal for his winning essay, and it has been forwarded to the state level for judging. If he wins there, the essay goes up to the national level.

In second place for sixth-grade, Bridget Koehl's essay centered around the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, setting it to music, and its appearance as the national anthem. Isabella Beilfuss tied for third place with her essay about two friends who join the war, along with Rebecca Snyder who outlined the role of France and Great Britain in the war.

Kathy Machmer, DAR Yavapai Chapter Regent, said 151 students from three schools participated in the contest. Other winning essays to move to the state level come from fifth-grader Faith Trout, student at American Heritage Academy in Cottonwood; seventh-grader Kayla Carter, American Heritage School; and eighth-grader Korin Farnsworth, American Heritage Academy in Camp Verde.

For more information on DAR Yavapai Chapter, call Kathy Machmer, 928-771-3191.

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