Tom McCall Elementary fourth-grader wins statewide essay contest

Tom McCall Elementary fourth-grader Maddox Johns recently won first place in the statewide Sons and Daughters of Oregon Pioneers (SDOP) essay contest.  

The SDOP was incorporated in 1897 with the purpose of keeping the spirit, memories, and stories of our forebears alive for future generations, according to their website. Membership is comprised of direct descendants of pioneers who arrived and settled in the Oregon Country prior to statehood in 1859.

Each year the organization puts on an essay contest for fourth-grade students who study the Oregon Trail, with this year’s topic discussing the pioneer spirit, a determination of accomplishing goals under very difficult circumstances, and how the result of that spirit has affected our lives today.

“The impact that the pioneers have made today because of their journey through the Oregon trail has affected our lives in many ways,” Johns wrote in his essay. “Our own determination, spirit, character and impact on our culture today was because of the pioneers and their long journey.“

Essay entrants were judged on how well they addressed the topic, command of grammar and usage, organization of details and use of primary and secondary sources.  

For his first place win, Johns will receive a check for $150 and recognition at the annual SDOP picnic at Champoeg State Park later this summer.