A middle schooler from Alexandria and a high school junior from Henrico County were the first place winners in the Virginia War Memorial’s 2020 Veterans Day Student Essay Contest. The winners were announced at the 64th Annual Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony held November 11 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond and livestreamed on social media.
The winner in the middle school category was Niamh Moreno, a seventh grader at The Basilica School of St. Mary in Alexandria. The topic of her essay was Luta May McGrath. Her teacher is Jacklin McKee.
The winner in the high school category was Matthew Miscikowski, an eleventh grader at Deep Run High School in Henrico County. His essay profiled his grandfather, Michael Troyanoski. Andrew Heare is his teacher.
The annual contest was open to middle and high school age students throughout Virginia in public or private schools or homeschooled. The essay topic was “An American Who Served in World War II Who Inspires Me.” Niamh and Matthew both received a $200 gift card and each of their teachers was presented with $100 gift card to purchase classroom and educational supplies.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who served as the keynote speaker at the 64th Annual Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony, personally congratulated both student essay contest winners at the Virginia War Memorial.
“We are so proud of our essay contest winners and all of the students that participated this year,” said Dr. Clay Mountcastle, Virginia War Memorial Director. “Education and preserving history for future generations are tenets of our mission here at the Virginia War Memorial. These students show us, with their inspiring words, just how important that mission can be. We look forward to always incorporating students into the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony.”
The winning essays are posted online on the Virginia War Memorial Foundation website: Virginia War Memorial. .