American Legion Post 23 recognizes Americanism test winners

By Ciara Conley

Left to Right: Richard LaValley, American Legion District Seven Commander, students Laiken Rice, Michael Spradlin and Taylor McQuay, Beecher Wright, First Vice Commander of American Legion Post 23 and Jim Volgares, First Vice Commander of American Legion District. Seven.

On Thursday night, the American Legion Post 23 recognized the winners of the Americanism and Government Test.

“It measures their knowledge of American government both ancient and present,” explained District Seven Americanism Chairman, Susan Frasier. “On the test, there are questions about federal, state and local governments and questions about patriotism in general. Then there is a 300 word essay that is used to determine winners if they is a tie score wise. 56,000 students across the state took this test and nobody got a 100, it’s that hard.”

Through a number of judging levels in the state of Ohio to select Post, County, and District winners, the initial field of 56,000 students is narrowed to 84 district winners, whose winning test papers are submitted to a State Judging Committee for this program.

From the field of 84 District winners, the State Judging Committee selects 18 winners from across the state in the following categories:

Grade 12 (Seniors): Six State winners/three men and three women

Grade 11 (Juniors): Six State winners/three men and three women

Grade 10 (Sophomores): Six State winners/three men and three women

Over 800 students in Scioto County participated in the test, from there the six district winners were decided. The six district winners selected from Scioto County were, Laiken Rice, a Sophomore from Northwest; Taylor McQuay, a Senior from Wheelersburg; Wheelersburg Senior, Michael Spradlin; Evan Throckmorton, a Sophomore from Northwest; Wheelersburg Junior, Jacob Lewis; and Junior Madisyn Staggs, also from Wheelersburg.

Of the six, Laiken Rice, Taylor McQuay and Michael Spradlin also won at the State level. As a reward, the three will be joining the other 15 winners from the state and will be participating in an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

A highlight of the trip is a Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The Ohio American Legion and Ohio American Legion Auxiliary have had the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns every year since 1936, an opportunity most will never experience.

“I’ve had two friends that went the past two years and it’s been really cool to hear about their experiences,” said Taylor McQuay. “My government teacher gave me the test my sophomore year and I thought he was crazy. I’ve been to D.C. in the past, our school took a field trip there in the eighth grade, but it was nothing like this trip will be.” Both Laiken Rice and Michael Spradlin, agreed.

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Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley – Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.