John Gomez wins VFW Voice of Democracy essay contest


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  • Pictured here are, from left, Superintendent of Schools Dr. James McLaughlin, third place winner Sofia Metcalf, VFW Quartermaster Edmond Nolan and another VFW representative, first place winner John Gomez, Board of Education President Dave Richards, and West Milford High School AP Government and Politics teacher Gregory Matlosz.



West Milford High School Students in grades 10 through 12 grade participated in the annual Voice of Democracy essay contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) recently. Participants submitted an essay in response to the question of why they were optimistic about our nation's future. West Milford High School Advanced Placement Government and Politics teacher Gregory Matlosz and Honors US History I teacher Lydia Laba joined the district’s Supervisor of Social Studies Katherine Brennan in selecting the winner.

The winners for the West Milford contest were:

1st Place- John Gomez, grade 11

2nd Place- Peyton Porch, grade 10

3rd Place- Sophia Metcalf, grade 12

For the annual contest, students receive a constitutional/patriotic question to respond to and submit their essay response in the form of a recorded speech.

At the local level, the top three responses are then chosen from the entries. The first place winner receives a $200 award and moves on to the county level contest; the 2nd and 3rd place winners each receive $100. If he wins at the county, Gomez will go on to the state and national levels, where one winner is chosen at each level.

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