Kevin McCraney

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Kevin McCraney, 28, from Seattle, Washington. Kevin has experimented with narrative and media since he was young. Ever the consummate creator, he gained experience working with video and music by producing material for school projects and his personal travel blog. After traveling the world and documenting his adventures, he is currently attending the MS in Information Program at the University of Washington. In the future, he hopes to work in government, advocating for laws that embolden the ethical production and use of technology.

BOBBIE BRAMLETT

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Bobbie Bramlett, 82, Best Senior Essay Winner, is a native of Oklahoma. She and her husband, Bill, have lived in Colorado the past six years. She is active in her local P.E.O. Chapter, plays mahjong, and likes to walk and play golf. Bobbie’s great granddaughter, Halley Moak, was a Constituting America winner in 2010, and inspired her to learn about the Constitution!

Read Essay Here.

NATHAN & GAYLE POOL

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Gayle Poole, Best Short Film Winner, Adult Category, was born in Houston, Texas. Gayle is the mom to four adult children and the Mamie to three wonderful grandkids. She works with the primary children’s organization in her church and is taking sign language classes at the local junior college. She loves reading history, doing photo collage art, gardening, and dancing with her husband of 34 years. She is a happy Texan and an appreciative American!

Nathan Poole, 25, Best Short Film Winner, Adult Category, is studying biology at the University of Texas at Tyler. He plans on studying genetics and then ultimately attending medical school. He is participating in a study of turtle and leech relationships, and is beginning to conduct a research project on salamander regeneration. He also spends time shadowing physicians in preparation for future schooling. He is involved in the community through church service projects and volunteering at the local zoo. He and his new wife teach a youth Sunday School class together. They enjoy traveling, camping, and enjoying the outdoors any chance they get.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/87975377

RON MEIER

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Ron Meier, 71, Best Senior Essay Winner, moved to Cumming Georgia from Colorado in 2011 to be near two grandchildren. He retired after a career in investment analysis & management, personal finance, accounting, banking, and financial education, during which time he authored many articles and seminars for adult learners. Volunteering in his church and community, studying history, traveling, writing, and especially spending time with his family now occupy much of Ron’s daily time. Ron grew up in Ohio and lived in Texas, where his three children were born and two have returned to live. He is a graduate of West Point, an Army Vietnam Veteran, and earned both CPA and CFA designations during his business career. Ron leads a Constituting America Patriot Club in Cumming; its members work with teachers and students to encourage students to compete in contests which help them learn more about American history, culture, and heritage.

Read Essay Here.

NANCY ARNOLD

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For thirty years as a school teacher, Nancy K. Arnold, shared her love of America and its history with her students. Though now retired, she continues to share this love through the children’s books she writes. Her goals continue to be to excite children about American history, and to help insure that they understand the values upon which our country was founded. To that end, she is often found presenting a program in a school or civic organization, dressed as Martha Washington or a pioneer woman. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution has recognized her for her contributions to children’s books on American history, and she has also been given their Women in the Arts Award. Her book, Patriotic Pups, won the Arizona Glyph Award, and in 2015 she received a Silver Will Rogers Medallion Award for Pioneer Pups. In 2011 she was honored to receive the Arizona Federation of Republican Women Teacher of the Year Award. She is thrilled to be the Senior Essay Award winner from Constituting America, and to represent such a wonderful organization. Nancy and her husband enjoy activities with their four grandchildren, as well as sailing on their sailboat off the southern California coast. She is presently in the early stages of writing her third book, and it looks like she will be in need of a Pilgrim costume for future school visits!

Read Essay Here.

OCTAVIA TAYLOR

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For over 45 years, Octavia Taylor inspired her students in the Camden High School classroom to achieve their personal best in their lives, as well as in volleyball, tennis, drill/dance team and gymnastics. She was a role model that many students followed into their own teaching professions. Her popularity is evident when she is greeted frequently by former students with hugs and squeals! She was born and raised in Arkansas, graduated from University of Central Arkansas in Conway when it was Arkansas State Teachers College, and as a young mother, began teaching. With five grown children and nine grandchildren, she continues to lead and teach in the community – even at the age of 90! Octavia chairs the DAR Constitution Week celebration in Ouachita County, and personally participates in the “Bells Across America” bell ringing at her St. John’s Episcopal Church. She yearly writes letters in the newspaper promoting the Constitution, and gets Proclamations declared by the Mayor and the County Judge. She serves on the Oakland Cemetery Preservation Committee of the Ouachita County Historical Society, and is a character twice a year in the Cemetery Walks. She is often photographed in her elaborate costumes, made by one of her daughters. School children are treated to her stories of “tales past” during the Camden Daffodil Festival, as well as when on school tours to the McCollum Chidester House, where she is a docent. When Octavia is not teaching history, she is involved in Garden Club projects, promoting Music Club opportunities and, during the summer months, teaching water aerobics in the city pool. She has served as state DAR Conservation Chair and is a Master Gardener, reflecting her interest to promote butterfly and bird friendly yards in her own landscaping. She has been involved in planting thousands of daffodil bulbs all over town.

Octavia is considered “ageless” to her many friends, and enjoys intergenerational friendships far and wide. To keep up with Octavia, one has to put on running shoes and be willing to get involved in a project. She puts her words into actions and motivates others to do the same.

Read Essay Here.

ROBERT MOAK

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Bob has been an equine veterinarian for 42 years. He attended Louisiana State University and Oklahoma State University. He is a race track veterinarian, and spent the majority of his career at paramutual race tracks in Louisiana and California. He has been semi-retired since 1999, and lives in Estes Park, Colorado with his wife, Linda. They have three children and two grandchildren. Bob became acquainted with Constituting America seven years ago when his granddaughter won Best Poem in the inaugural year of the program, and has been an avid fan ever since!

Read Essay Here.

OLETTA BRANSTITER

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I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, but have lived in Texas for over 30 years. I’ve been married for almost 35 years, we have two grown children and two grandchildren. After homeschooling my daughter, I started working at our neighborhood elementary school as a 4th Grade Aide, then a para-librarian. I’ve worked as a para-librarian at Sue Crouch Intermediate School in Crowley ISD, since 2012. It’s a two-year campus for 5th and 6th grade, so every other year I teach Our Nation’s Foundations to supplement Social Studies curriculum. I’m also known in local circles as the Tap-Dancing Librarian for hosting an after school Tap Club.

Read Lesson Plan Here.

JESSE BLUMA

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I am from Monarch Beach, California and currently a world history teacher at Serrano Intermediate School in Lake Forest, California. The students in my classes are fascinating people and I am confident in their abilities to learn, grow, and make valuable contributions to our society. That is why I collaborate with other teachers to do cross-curricular activities, share stories about my travels, my entrepreneurship in the food business, and take interest in what students have to say about history and its lessons. Fundamentally, I promote student ownership for learning. Treasuring our Constitution, practicing what we preach, and knowing our place in history is our guiding light. Students in my classes do brilliant things, have excellent curiosities, and learn so much. We go on fun adventures, perform engaging puppet shows, do hard work, visit museums, and celebrate remarkable accomplishments throughout history at our World’s Faire. Certainly, my hope is students come away knowing life loves a student.

Read Lesson Plan Here.

MATT FITZGIBBONS

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Since 2004, Matt Fitzgibbons has been writing non-partisan music that celebrates America’s founding principles. His goal is to inspire people to think, learn and talk about individual liberty.

Fitzgibbons has released four albums which have received many honors including two ASCAPlus awards, a song featured in a documentary on the Right to Bear Arms, a second place award in an Irish songwriting contest, and an Honorable mention in the 2016 SongDoor International Songwriting Competition, among others. With his music, videos, writing and hundreds of interviews across the country and abroad, Fitzgibbons has reached millions of people with his positive message. For more information, music, videos, show dates and booking, Matt Fitzgibbons’ website is PatriotMusic.com