The annual ritual begun decades ago by the late Katherine Wolff of Woodland Park continues today as members of the VFW Post No. 6051 carry on with tradition.
Wolff was particularly interested in seeing that students learn about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. For years she sponsored an essay contest and selected the winners.
The VFW has expanded the contest to include teachers. In a Jan. 2 ceremony at the VFW lodge, the winners were there to receive their awards.
1. Andrew Pappadakis was named High School Teacher of the Year by the members and honored for representing American values. Pappadakis teaches social studies and coaches soccer at the Woodland Park High School.
2. Lisa Woods, named Elementary School Teacher of the Year, was also honored for representing American values. Woods teaches at the Woodland Park branch of the Colorado Springs Christian School. Woods’ principal, Nils Eng, attended the ceremony.
3. Hayden Stone, senior at Woodland Park High School, won the Voice of Democracy Award and $200 for his essay and speech.
4. Connie Breitenstein, 6th grader at Woodland Park Middle School, won the Patriot’s Pen Award and $100 for her essay “Why I Honor the American Flag.”