Maryville High School tenth grade students set a record for participation in the DAR Christopher Columbus essay contest with more than 60 students submitting an essay, according to Belva Dawson, contest chairman.

At the DAR presentation were, front: Jacquie Conn, MHS English teacher, Creid Stocklein, Trevor Townsend, Vanessa Klotz, Kamryn Gastler, Skylar Bundridge, Aleyna Saldana, Sarah Richardson, Madeline Wiedmaier, Kylee Dougan, Belva Dawson, essay contest chairman; back: Adam Becker, Justus Voss, Chase Newberry, Mason Walk, Will Mattlock, Skiler Williams, Morgan Goodridge, Ben Orshiso and Ashlyn Laffey. Not pictured: Connor Durbin and Katie Gardner.

Participation certificates were presented to 20 students with the top-rated essays. The winning essay was written by Mason Walk, who received a bronze medal. Jacquie Conn, MHS English teacher, conducted the contest, in the spring.

The DAR sponsors the contest in coordination with the National Italian American Foundation in honor of Christopher Columbus. Each academic year, an essay topic is chosen and contest instructions are made available to high school students.  Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness.

One winning essay from each participating chapter is submitted for judging on the state level. This year’s topic was technology impact on the voyage of Christopher Columbus.