Three students from Cactus Canyon Junior High School, 801 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction, were recently recognized by VFW Post 7968 for placing in the Patriot Pen Essay Contest. The theme of the 2022-23 contest is “My Pledge to Our Veterans.”
Michael Osborn placed first, Luke Trombutore placed second and Myla Gentile placed third. Osborn will advance to the next level of competition at the regional level and will be recognized at an awards banquet hosted by the VFW post on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Osborn will be joined by CCJH Teacher Jamie Byrne who the VFW selected as Apache Junction Unified School District Teacher of the Year.
The VFW hosts a local and national competition each year to encourage a better understanding and appreciation for America, as well as foster patriotism in today’s youth. As described on the VFW site, the Patriot Pen Essay Contest is conducted nationwide, the VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. More than 84,000 students participated nationwide last year in this contest.
“We are very proud of our students, as well as extremely thankful for the support we receive from organization such as the VFW,” said AJUSD Superintendent Heather Wallace.
Ongoing registration is open for Cactus Canyon Junior High School, as well as all of AJUSD schools. Information is available at www.ajusd.org.
Cactus Canyon Junior High School emphasizes a well-rounded education where academics, sports and extracurricular activities allow students to grow scholastically, physically and emotionally. Cactus Canyon Junior High School students can get a head start on funding their college education by signing up for Pinal Promise in junior high. The program offers a tuition-free education at Central Arizona College for those who fulfill the requirements and graduate from participating high schools in Pinal County such as Apache Junction High School.