Overland Trail DAR recognizes local students at Patriot Award Ceremony

The Overland Trail Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution held its annual Patriots Award Ceremony April 11 at the American Legion in LaPorte.

The Overland Trail Chapter works with schools in the Wellington, LaPorte and mountain area schools of Stove Prairie, Livermore and Red Feather Lakes to recognize outstanding students. In addition, the chapter recognizes citizens in our communities for their outstanding service.

The Overland Trail Chapter wishes to thank Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson for his assistance in the presentation of the certificates and medals and to the American Legion for its contribution to the chapter in the use of its hall.

The DAR Youth Citizenship Medal is for a boy or girl in grades 5 through 11 giving one medal per grade per school. The medal is given to those youth who fulfill the qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership and patriotism. This award looks at the whole student in their school work, community service, outside activities such as sports, scouts and other areas of interest. Each student receives a certificate and a medal. This year, the recipients of the DAR Youth Citizenship Medal are:
Fifth-Grade:
Caden Wheat – Rice Elementary School, Wellington
Tyler Uthmann – Cache la Poudre Elementary School, LaPorte
Allie Hazel – Eyestone Elementary School, Wellington
Sixth-Grade
Katelynn Esparza – Wellington Middle School, Wellington
Lauren Ivers – Cache la Poudre Middle School, LaPorte
Seventh-Grade
Hayden Moore – Wellington Middle School, Wellington
Nate Wood – Cache la Poudre Middle School, LaPorte
Eighth-Grade
Sophia Behrens – Wellington Middle School, Wellington
Kevin Bednar – Cache la Poudre Middle School, LaPorte

The DAR Good Citizens Medal is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. The program is open to all senior class students enrolled in accredited public or private secondary schools that are in good standing with their state boards of education. The student selected as the school’s DAR Good Citizen must have the qualities of dependability, which includes truthfulness, loyalty and punctuality; service, which includes cooperation, courtesy and consideration of others; leadership, which includes personality, self-control and ability to assume responsibility; and patriotism, which includes unselfish interest in family, school, community and nation to an outstanding degree. This student receives a certificate and medal. This year’s recipient of the DAR Good Citizens Medal is Cate Rush from Poudre High School.

The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation’s great history and learn about history in a new light. Each academic year, a unique essay topic is chosen and guidelines are made available. The contest is open to all students in grades 5-8. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness.

The 2014-2015 essay topic was: “A Child’s Journey through Ellis Island.” The year 2015 marks the 125th anniversary of Ellis Island as an immigration station. On a typical day, immigrants arriving on the island could expect to spend up to seven hours in processing activities intended to determine whether or not they were legally and medically fit to enter the United States. Imagine yourself as a child traveling through Ellis Island in 1892. How would you describe your experience to your cousin who has never heard of Ellis Island? The winners receive a certificate and a medal. This years winners were from Rice Elementary School; third place Nevaeh Gonzalez; second place Sara Replogle; and first place Keira Gillespie.

Overland Trail Chapter Certificate of Award – American History Project. This award is being presented to an outstanding teacher who took the subject of the American History Essay contest and turned it into the most exciting teaching tool. The students lived the lives of a child coming to Ellis Island each week in their classroom and wrote journals about the experience. The way history came to life in the classroom took a great deal of preparation and execution. For outstanding teaching to her fifth-grade class at Rice Elementary School, the award was presented to Amber Meyers

The Outstanding Teacher in American History Award honors notable full-time teachers of history in public, private and parochial schools. These teachers have demonstrated excellence in readily sharing an incisive knowledge of American History, being committed to their students and fostering a spirit of patriotism and loyal support of our country.

This year’s winner of the Overland Trail Chapter Outstanding Teacher in American History is Robert Denise of Cache la Poudre Middle School.

Each year, the Overland Trail Chapter recognizes schools or businesses in the local area for the correct way to fly the flag of the United States. The U.S. Flag Committee was designed in 1909 at national headquarters DAR to promote a strong patriotic feeling and respect for our flag. Its principle objectives then are still fundamental today: To keep the flag flying, to protect it continuously under all conditions, and to educate citizens regarding its correct usage. The following school was presented the Certificate of Award for the Flag of the United States: Eyestone Elementary School in Wellington.

The DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal was established to recognize worthy citizens for extraordinary service in the defense, promotion and/or preservation of our American heritage of freedom. The DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal is a new award which began on Jan. 1, 2014. It is presented to an individual, 18 years of age and older, who fulfills the qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership and patriotism. This medal may be awarded to emergency first responders; active duty military and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces; and citizens who have contributed to the defense and/or security, and thereby the freedom, of the community, state or nation in an exceptional manner. It is with great honor that the Overland Trail Chapter presented the DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal to James M. Harmon, Lt. Col. in the U.S. Air Force.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 175,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.

To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit http://overlandtrail.coloradodar.org/ or contact the Overland Trail Chapter at overlandtraildar@yahoo.com.

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