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Franklin High student wins essay contest

Published 10:02am Friday, March 14, 2014

FRANKLIN—An offer for extra credit in a history class turned into an award-winning essay for Cleo Scott of Franklin High School. She was honored by members of the Constantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The luncheon program took place Thursday in the Village at Woods Edge.

Cleo Scott, front, with Constantia Chapter DAR’s Christine Young, chairwoman of the American History Committee, and Patsy Joyner, member. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS
Cleo Scott, front, with Constantia Chapter DAR’s Christine Young, chairwoman of the American History Committee, and Patsy Joyner, member. — STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS

Constantia Chapter, which includes residents from both Franklin and Suffolk, annually sponsors an American History contest for students in grades 5-8. That winner was Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s Anna Paisley Gray, who was unable to attend the ceremony. Her mother, Eugenia Gray, is a chapter member.

The other contest, the Christopher Columbus Essay competition. is for grades 9-12, also in both cities.

That theme was “How do Americans View Columbus and George Washington today?”

Scott, a junior, is the daughter of Kimberly Dishman-Scott, a preschool teacher at S.P. Morton Elementary School.

Scott said her teacher, Michael Cramer, told his classes about the project last fall.

She worked from mid-October through November for her research and writing; this was her first time to write on a competitive level.

“I found out what he – Columbus – had done, and also included some of the bad things,” said Scott. She also learned about Washington’s deeds and misdeeds. In her view, the nation’s first president came across as the better of the two.

Most of the research was done online, said Scott, who wrote three to four pages for her essay.

Cramer, who teaches U.S. and Virginia history, as well as government and World History II, said Principal Travis Felts asked him to let his students know about the DAR’s contests.

“I thought they’d do good and they did,” said Cramer about Scott and the other pupils who wrote essays.

“Both of the Constantia Chapter/DAR’s Essay winners also won at the District 1 level and their essay were forwarded to state competition,” said Christine Young of Suffolk. She’s chairwoman of the American History Committee. “Although they did not capture the state-level award, winning at both the local and district level is fantastic.”

In addition to receiving certificates, the chapter members and guests welcomes India Meissel, an award-winning social studies teacher at Lakeland High School in Suffolk. She spoke about the role of women in the American Revolutionary War.

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