Civics essay contest encourages young Tennesseans to recognize important roles as citizens


Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett on Wednesday recognized elementary, middle and high school students from across the state for writing outstanding essays on leadership and civic engagement.

The winners of the Secretary of State’s third annual Civics Essay Contest will receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a trip to the State Capitol to visit Secretary Hargett this spring.

“Encouraging young people to be part of the civic process is one of the most important things we can do to cultivate the next generation of leaders,” Hargett said. “Our goal is for students to recognize their important roles as citizens, and we hope this essay contest generates conversations about civic engagement in classrooms across Tennessee.”

The annual Civics Essay Contest is open to all public, private and homeschool students in Tennessee. Essays are judged by employees at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee Department of Education.

Winners of the 2018 contest include:

9 – 12th Grade:

  • First: Cally Copeland, Cumberland County High School (Cumberland County)
  • Second: Shubhi Singh, Hutchison School (Shelby County)
  • Third: Annabelle Bridgforth, Hutchison School (Shelby County)
  • Honorable Mentions: Kelsey Mize, Giles County High School (Giles County);
    Jon Mark Castleman, Dyer County High School (Dyer County)

6 – 8th Grade:

  • First: Adriana Zablah, Saint John Neumann Catholic School (Knox County)
  • Second: Arin Nipp, Christ the King School (Davidson County)
  • Third: Maggie Carter, Northeast Middle School (Madison County)
  • Honorable Mentions: Jeffrey Crisp, Jr., Tracy City Elementary School (Grundy County);
    Annie Humphrey, Mt. Juliet Middle School (Wilson County);
    Marc Perrone, Heritage Middle School (Williamson County)

3 – 5th Grade:

  • First: Diana Cho, A.L. Lotts Elementary School (Knox County)
  • Second: Kate Wingfield, Dogwood Elementary School (Shelby County)
  • Third: Kerrington Land, Rivercrest Elementary School (Shelby County)
  • Honorable Mentions: Caden Adams, Union STEM Elementary School (Sumner County);
    Susannah Pehrson, Oakdale School (Morgan County)

K – 2nd Grade:

  • First:  Blaine West, Robert F. Woodall Primary School (Robertson County)
  • Second: Margheretta Shults, Farragut Primary School (Knox County)
  • Third: Riley Aylor, Blue Grass Elementary School (Knox County)
  • Honorable Mentions: Bryn Bennett, Farmington Elementary School (Shelby County);
    Mallori Roberts, Robert F. Woodall Primary School (Robertson County);
    Myles Hopkins, Ezell-Harding Christian School (Davidson County)

First place winners in each category receive a $500 scholarship, with second and third place winners receiving $250 and $100, respectively.

The contest, along with the Student Mock Election, is part of the Secretary of State’s office civic engagement program.