Lincoln-Way students participate in Voice of Democracy essay contest
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On November 1, 2016, students who participated in the “Voice of Democracy” essay contest were required to submit their entries. Students from Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way West participated in the annual essay contest, which is promoted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). This year, the contest asked students to write about their personal responsibility to America. Students from Lincoln-Way Central submitted over 200 essays and students from Lincoln-Way West submitted over 70.

There were 14 winners from Lincoln-Way Central, including two students who were also named winners of the essay contest last year: Madison Smith and Bailey Tincher. The winners are:

Teacher Sara Davy’s students:
• Dylan Humiston
• Michael Mauer
• Danny Rymut
• Madison Smith*
• Colleen Sweeney
• Bailey Tincher*

Teacher Hilary Gansauer's students:
• Joseph Isdonas
• Emily Parker
• Dominic Terrones

Teacher Lisa Yanule's students:
• Jessica Bowers
• Mairghread Ebel
• Sydney Fornnarino
• Elizabeth Ihrke
• Madeline Jones

In her essay, student Elizabeth Ihrke explained how responsibility has changed over time. “"My responsibilities as an American citizen may differ form a Pilgrim, a 1950s housewife, and an inventor in the 1870s, but that does not make them any less important to the betterment of America. My duty to America is to educate myself, make as many good contributions to America as I can, and use my voice to promote positive morale and interaction with other Americans."

There were four winners of the essay contest from Lincoln-Way West. The winners are:

Teacher Mary Hilbert’s students:
• Paul Buldak
• Eric Ullian

Teacher Michelle Cartolano’s student:
• Abigail Sutter

Teacher Michael Franta’s student:
• Ryan Burggren

In his essay, Ryan Burggren reflected on the sacrifices of others. “To the average person, the American flag is a symbol of our freedom, and a symbol of these fifty states we live in. For me, it is more complicated than that. I see the flag flying high above my head as a reminder of the people who lay everything on the line to make it possible for the flag to be flown. It is a symbol of the lives lost in fighting for that freedom. It is the same flag laid over these same soldiers as they come home to lay in their final resting place.”

Student Eric Ullian looked to past leaders to explain how the responsibility of moving America forward is now in his own hands. “As President Kennedy said, ‘I look forward to a great future for America—a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.’ There are no worries, Mr. President. I, too, look forward to the future of America. You did your job. It is now my turn to take responsibility and carry on this great nation’s legacy that you and millions of others believed in.”