Elton Gregory Middle School Students Win VFW Patriot’s Pen Competition

Redmond, Ore – Three eighth grade students from Elton Gregory Middle School were awarded today as the top three essayists in the Redmond Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot’s Pen essay competition.

Students Sierra Cassaro, Kiki Fierstos, and Ryan Barnes, eighth grade students, took first, second and third place respectively in the Redmond competition. Sierra Cassaro and Kiki Fierstos went on to place at the Central Oregon District and state level as well.

VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. The Patriot’s Pen competition asks students to draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on an annual patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

Overall student achievement and prizes awarded are as follows:

Local VFW post (Redmond)

  • Sierra Cassaro: First place – $125
  • Kiki Fierstos: Second place – $75
  • Ryan Barnes: Third place – $25

District level VFW (Central Oregon)

  • Kiki Fierstos: First place – $175
  • Sierra Cassaro: Third place – $25

State Level (Oregon)

  • Kiki Fierstos – Second place – $500

“We would like to thank Melissa Develter, a language arts teacher at Elton Gregory Middle School, for her efforts with this program,” shared Judith Burger-Myers, Scholarship Chairperson of the Deschutes Post 4108 of the VFW.  “She makes this a scored writing assignment for all of her students allowing them to earn credit in her class while simultaneously teaching her students to take the risk and enter scholarship programs that will assist in their future education.  This year her class earned a total of $950 in scholarships that wouldn’t have happened without her encouragement.”

For questions or more information, please contact Kelly Richard, communications coordinator at 541-923-8233.

About Redmond School District

Located in Redmond, Ore, the Redmond School District serves more than 7,000 students from Redmond, Alfalfa, Crooked River Ranch, Eagle Crest, Terrebonne and Tumalo.  The district currently operates five K-5 elementary schools; two K-8 community schools, two middle schools, one charter school, one educational center and two comprehensive high schools. Its mission is to ensure rigorous and relevant instruction which leads to mastery and the development of productive citizens.  Learn more about the Redmond School District online at www.redmond.k12.or.us.