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Local VFW Celebrates Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy Essay Winners


Local VFW Celebrates Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy Essay Winners


Roxbury, NJ (January 6, 2017) – Seven students from three of the seven Roxbury Township Public Schools were recognized at Monday’s Board of Education annual reorganization meeting. 

Each year students in grades 6 through 12 are given the chance to participate in the annual VFW sponsored youth essay writing contest. 

Students in grades six through eight under the guidance of Mrs. Margery Richman, Mrs. Stacy Buchanan, and Mrs. Amy Muller were given the opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s Patriots Pen theme was “The America I Believe In”. Each student wrote an essay approximately 300-400 words expounding on this theme. 

The Patriots Pen recipients from Lincoln/Roosevelt and Eisenhower Middle School were invited to the Board of Education meeting to read an excerpt from their essay and receive a certificate and check from Mr. John Lehnert, Post Commander and Mr. Jeff McDonald, Quartermaster of VFW Post 2833 Alward and Henry Meeker Post. 

Eisenhower Middle Schools winners were Emma Wilk (1st place), Cristian Loaiza-Gutierrez (2nd place), and tied for third place was Jordan Farina and Thomas Schulz. 

Lincoln/Roosevelt’s winners were Ava Milsom (1st place) and Oluwakamiye Ogunyankin (2nd place). 

Students at the high school level participated in The Voice of Democracy essay writing contest and this year’s theme was “My Responsibility to America”. This year’s winner from Roxbury High School was Hayley Riddle. 

In addition to the Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy presentation, the Roxbury Board of Education conducted its annual reorganization meeting. This meeting swore in newcomer, Mr. Dan Masi and incumbents, Mr. Richard Alexander and Ms. Carol Scheneck. A new board president and vice president were also selected. The 2017 board president will be Mr. Leo Coakley and the vice president will be Mrs. Patricia Miller. 

PHOTOS ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Public Schools)

- 2017 Roxbury Board of Education Members (pictured left to right) - Standing: James Monaghan, Dan Masi, Ron Lucas, Dave Ramage, Rachel Byrne, Carol Scheneck; Seated: Richard Alexander, Pat Miller, Leo Coakley, Margaret Casola

- EMS Patriots Pen (pictured left to right) – Mrs. Margery Richman, Mr. Jeff McDonald, Mr. John Lehnert, Thomas Schulz, Jordan Farina, Emma Wilk, and Mr. Dominick Miller (Principal)

- Patriots Pen Voice of Democracy Winners (pictured left to right) – Oluwakamiye Ogunyankin, Hayley Riddle, Mr. Jeff McDonald, Mr. John Lehnert, Thomas Schulz, Jordan Farina, and Emma Wilk

- Patriots Pen with Emma Wilk (pictured left to right) Mr. John Lehnert, Emma Wilk, and Mr. Jeff McDonald

- Patriots Pen with Jordan Farina (pictured left to right) Mr. John Lehnert, Jordan Farina, and Mr. Jeff McDonald

- Patriots Pen with Oluwakamiye Ogunyankin (pictured left to right) Mr. John Lehnert, Oluwakamiye Ogunyankin, and Mr. Jeff McDonald

- Voice of Democracy with Hayley Riddle (pictured left to right) Mr. John Lehnert, Hayley Riddle, and Mr. Jeff McDonald


For more information, contact: Roxbury Community Relations coordinator Ann Rhodes at or 973-584-7699. 


Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at or on Facebook at