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Students Win Honors In National Contests Promoting Historic Preservation Of Hallowed Ground

Civil War Trust’s annual essay and postcard contest invited students to explain the importance of preserving America’s past through essay or postcard

(Washington, D.C.) – The Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed ground, today announced the winners of the 2013 Essay & Postcard Contest, co-sponsored by History™.

“Each year, this contest attracts truly gifted students who understand the importance of protecting America’s hallowed ground,” Trust president James Lighthizer said. “Their entries demonstrate the wherewithal of these students to understand the significance of these sites to our national heritage and their inherent duty to serve as stewards of this land.”

This year, the annual contest invited elementary, middle and high school students to submit an essay explaining the importance of protecting America’s historic sites or design a postcard to visually convey the sentiment. Each entry explored the 2013 theme, “Preserving 150 Years of History: 1862-1863, Shifting Tides,” which focused on the turning points of the American Civil War and the importance of preserving hallowed ground across the county as a vital link to America’s past.

Student essays and postcard designs were judged in two age-specific divisions. Winners in each category received a cash prize, provided by History™, and a complimentary membership to the Civil War Trust.

The winners of the 2013 Civil War Essay Contest:

Junior Division:
First Place — Alec Webb, 5th grade, Potomac Elementary School, Teacher: Mary Ellen Mercer; Second Place — Alia Jaffrey, 5th grade, Kent Place School, Teacher: Susan Mascioli; Third Place — Aaron Pape, 5th grade, East Auburn Community School, Teacher: Joan Simard; Honorable Mention — Brandon Laliberte, 5th grade, East Auburn Community School, Teacher: Joan Simard.

Senior Division:
First Place — Irfan Ansari, 8th grade, Robinson Middle School, Teacher: Michele Rowley; Second Place — Nicholas Flores, 11th grade, Antigo High School, Teacher: Rick Block; Third Place — Camila Cardenas, 8th grade, East Forsyth Middle School, Teacher: Karen Thompson; Honorable Mention — J’Laan Pittman, 10th grade, Wiley E. Groves High School, Teacher: Geoff Wickersham.

The winners of the 2013 Civil War Postcard Design Contest:

Junior Division:
First Place — Emely Ruby Cortina, 7th grade, Lincoln Middle School, Teacher: Joycelyn Catron; Second Place — Anna Vento, 7th grade, Our Lady of Sorrows, Teacher: Ronald Jones; Third Place — Emma Stevenson, 7th grade, Briscoe Middle School, Teacher: John Cedio;  Honorable Mention — Joseph Galasso, 7th grade, Home School, Tuscon, Arizona, Teacher: Sandra Galasso.

Senior Division:
First Place — Briar Golden, 9th grade, Arcadia High School, Teacher: Adam Petroski; Second Place — Jay Czerniak, 8th grade, Medford Middle School, Teacher: Jenny Shipman; Third Place — Fernando Torres, 8th grade, East Forsyth Middle School, Teacher: Karen Slepp; Honorable Mention — Sara Rupp, 8th grade, La Salle High School, Teacher: Chris Ring.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.  To date, it has preserved more than 36,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.  Learn more at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.