Janine Turner
Founder & Co-Chair of Constituting America




Cathy Gillespie
Co-Chair of Constituting America


Meet Our Judges
Micheal Flaherty
President and Co-founder of Walden Media
Judge for Constituting America’s Best Short Film

Micheal Flaherty is the president and co-founder of Walden Media. Walden’s mission is to rekindle curiosity and recapture imagination through the development and production of family films and literature. Walden has financed and produced a number of films, such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Charlotte’s Web, Bridge to Terabithia, Holes, Because of Winn-Dixie, and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.  As part of its mission, Walden creates innovative educational programs, lesson plans and events. Several hundred thousand students have participated in these events, including an international effort to read Charlotte’s Web aloud and to collect toys for Toys for Tots, both of which resulted in the breaking of world records. Flaherty is also on the board of Rachel’s Challenge, a program created in memory of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shootings. He is also a member of the Global Advisory Council of Vision360, an organization dedicated to supporting and founding churches across the country.

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Francis X. Flaherty, Jr.
Publisher, Walden Pond Press
Judge for Constituting America’s Best High School Essay

Francis X. (“Chip”) Flaherty heads up Walden Media’s publishing division, Walden Pond Press.  As Publisher, Flaherty has the opportunity to read the literary submissions of some of the best children’s authors in the world, so he is well prepared for his service here.  Under Flaherty’s stewardship, Walden Media has published many successful book titles, including Savvy, a New York Times Bestseller and 2009 Newbery Honor book, and Cosmic, the best reviewed children’s book of 2010.  A former litigator, Flaherty looks forward to serving as a judge and reading essays from some of America’s next generation of leaders.

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Ron Hall
Bestselling author of Same Kind of Different As Me
Judge for Constituting America’s Best Middle School Essay

Ron Hall grew up near Blooming Grove, Texas and graduated from TCU. After serving in the army as a nuclear weapons inspector in Colorado, Ron found himself back in Fort Worth, Texas working as a Campbell Soup salesman. In 1969, he married Deborah Short, his college sweetheart, received his MBA and became a municipal bond trader at the local bank.  While volunteering at a local homeless shelter, Ron met Denver, a local homeless man. He and Denver developed a friendship and, after Ron’s wife’s death in 2000, they co-wrote Same Kind of Different as Me, the story of their unlikely friendship and the lessons learned from it. Today, Ron Hall is an international art dealer whose long list of regular clients includes many celebrity personalities.  Ron is a much requested inspirational speaker, and an advocate and fundraiser for the homeless all across America.

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Joe Scaife
Judge for Constituting America’s Best Song

GRAMMY nominated producer, Joe Scaife was born in the Mississippi / Arkansas Delta and moved to Nashville, Tennessee as a child. He was influence by musical talents from a very early age, with Southern Rock being perhaps the most prevalent in his productions. He is the son of Music Row Pioneer, Cecil Scaife who was the visionary behind the beginnings of the Music Business Program at Belmont College.  It is now known as The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Joe attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee while getting hands on experience at the control board of his dad’s Hall of Fame Recording Studio.   Scaife has an ear for finding talent and has catapulted many new artists to the top of the charts. He is known in Music City as an artist’s ‘break out ‘ Producer. He produced Billy Ray Cyrus’ chart breaking hit “Achy Breaky Heart”, Gretchen Wilson’s “Red Neck Woman”, Montgomery Gentry’s albums “Tatoos and Scars” and  “Carrying On”, and produced KT Oslin’s “80’s Lady”.  Scaife has worked with Lionel Richey, Anne Murray, The Pointer Sisters, Charlie Daniels, and many other great artists. He is married and has two children and resides in Williamson County near Nashville.

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Peter Flaherty
Co-founder and Principal of the Shawmut Group
Judge for Constituting America’s Best High School PSA

Peter Flaherty is a co-founder and principal of The Shawmut Group, a public affairs and strategy consulting group based in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Flaherty is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston where he investigated and prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases and was a prosecutor in the homicide unit. After leaving the District Attorney's office, Flaherty became Vice President of Walden Media, a film production studio, dedicated to the development of family friendly films. At Walden, Flaherty was director of partnerships and alliances and head of Walden's IMAX division. Notable Walden projects include The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Holes, Charlotte's Web, and James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss. In 2003, Flaherty went to work for newly-elected Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, where he was Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser on constitutional issues, criminal justice, bioethics and judicial selection. On the Romney presidential campaign, Flaherty was Deputy Campaign Manager in charge of coalition building and the liaison to the faith community. Mr. Flaherty serves on the Board of Trustees at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, The Ally Foundation, and The Suffolk County Children's Advocacy Center. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a bachelor's degree in Economics, and received a Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law.  

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Marc A. Thiessen
Fellow at American Enterprise Institute
Judge for Constituting America’s Best College Speech

A member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush, Marc A. Thiessen served as chief speechwriter to the president and to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). He is a weekly columnist for the Washington Post, and his articles can be found in many major publications. His book on the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation program, Courting Disaster (Regnery Press, 2010), is a New York Times bestseller. At AEI, Thiessen writes about U.S. foreign and defense policy issues for The American and the Enterprise Blog. He appears every Thursday on Fox News’ America Live with Megyn Kelly and makes frequent appearances on other TV and talk radio programs. He has a Bachelors degree from Vassar College and completed his postgraduate studies at the Naval War College.

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Gary Dixon
President for Foundation for a Better Life
Judge for Constituting America’s Best College PSA

Gary Dixon is President of The Foundation for a Better Life whose mission is to promote positive values through the media.

The messages for the Foundation was recently recognized as the most successful Public Service Campaign in the history of the billboard industry. National awards include the TELLY, Creativity, Mobius, Cine Golden Eagle, and Gabriel.

Formerly, he served as Vice President of Bonneville Communications where he directed the creative development of many successful campaigns, including Major League Baseball, Homefront, Children’s Miracle Network, and the American Cancer Society.

He has also been a speaker at regional and national advertising conferences for the American Advertising Federation and creative seminars. Other assignments took him to Jakarta, Indonesia where he served as a communications consultant on a government project and, early in his career, to Japan where he directed a documentary on the first Trans-Pacific flight.

Gary has a Masters Degree in Communications from Brigham Young University and Bachelors in Broadcasting from Texas Tech University. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the Harvard Center for Media and Child Health and on the National Board of Directors for the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. He lives with his wife Susan and family in Denver, Colorado.

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James C. Miller

James C. Miller III is a Senior Advisor at Husch Blackwell, LLP, an international commercial law firm.  He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  In addition, he is Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Tax and Investment Center, and a member of the Board of Directors of Americans for Prosperity.

Dr. Miller is a member of the Boards of three of the American Funds family of funds:  Washington Mutual Investors Fund, the Tax-Exempt Fund of Maryland, and the Tax-Exempt Fund of Virginia, as well as a member of the Boards of the JPMorgan Value Opportunities Fund and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. He serves as chairman of the Audit Committee and is the Designated Financial Expert of each of these organizations.

In 2003 Dr. Miller was appointed by President Bush to the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service and later was confirmed by the U.S. Senate; he served as elected Chairman of the Board from 2005 until 2008 and then served as Chairman of the Board's Audit and Finance Committee until his term ended in December, 2011.  President Obama nominated him for another term in 2012, and he awaits renomination and Senate confirmation.  From 2002 until 2006, Dr. Miller served as Chairman (or Chairman Emeritus) of The CapAnalysis Group, a consulting arm of the international law firm, Howrey, L.L.P.

In 1994, Dr. Miller was a candidate for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate from Virginia, losing a close race to Col. Ollie North at the state party's convention in June.  In 1996, once again Dr. Miller was a candidate for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate, losing to incumbent Sen. John Warner in the June primary.  In 1998, he was treasurer of his wife’s campaign to represent Virginia’s 8th Congressional district (winning the primary but losing the general election) and assisted her with another (losing) run for the same office in 2000.

From October 1985 to October 1988, Dr. Miller was Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was a member of President Reagan's Cabinet, and was a member of the National Security Council.  From October 1981 to October 1985, he was Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.  And from January 1981 to October 1981, he was Administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB, where, among other things, he set up President Reagan's program of regulatory relief.

Dr. Miller is frequently called on to comment on public issues.  He has appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, Inside Edition, MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, Crossfire, Inside Politics, Inside Edition, Late Edition, Kudlow-Cramer, and Wall Street Week.  His opinion pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, USA Today, Investors Business Daily, and other major newspapers.  He has also been an occasional commentator for Marketplace Radio.

The holder of a B.B.A. in economics (University of Georgia, 1964) and a Ph.D. in economics (University of Virginia, 1969), Dr. Miller is the author of over 100 articles in professional journals and is the author, co-author, or editor of nine books, the most recent of which is Monopoly Politics, published in 1999 by the Hoover Press at Stanford University.

Dr. Miller was born in Atlanta on June 25, 1942, and was raised in Conyers, Georgia.  He resides with his wife, Demaris (holder of a Ph.D. in psychology from George Mason University), in Rappahannock County, Virginia.  The Millers have three grown children, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law, two granddaughters, and two grandsons: Katrina Miller; Felix, Anna, Natalie & Paulina Miller; and Sabrina, Fernando, Tristan & Rommel Pagkalinawan.

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Karla Morton
2010 Texas Poet Laureate
Judge for Constituting America’s Best Poem

Karla Morton is the first woman named as Texas State Poet Laureate in more than fifteen years. Described as a "celebrated poet" in the bill presented to the Texas State Legislature, she has been widely published in literary journals and serves as a founding member of the Greater Denton Arts Council and a founding member and officer of the Denton Poets' Assembly (part of the Poetry Society of Texas). She loves to promote poetry, and has read her work across Texas, performing at such venues as schools, universities, bookstores and festivals. Morton is also author of the book/CD titled Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie, a North Texas Book Festival Awards Finalist, Becoming Superman, Stirring Goldfish and Redefining Beauty -- a poetry collection written during her journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery that won the 2010 Next Generation Indie Award for women’s issues. She also has two books of poetry that will be released soon -- Names We've Never Known (Texas Review Press) and Karla K. Morton: New and Selected Poems (part of the TCU Press Poet Laureate series). She holds a journalism degree from Texas A&M University and is currently featured on a nationally-aired episode of The Art of Living Gallery for her promotion of poetry as a healing tool for the soul.

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Dr. Bruce Cole
Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Judge for Constituting America’s Best Holiday Greeting Card Design

Dr. Bruce Cole is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

Previously (2009-2011), he was President and CEO of the American Revolution Center in Philadelphia

From 2001 to 2009, Cole served as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where he managed a budget of $150 million and a staff of 170 and was responsible for awards totaling over $800 million dollars. Appointed by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2001 and again in 2005, Cole was the longest serving Chairman of the NEH. Under Cole’s leadership, the NEH launched key initiatives, including We the People, a program designed to encourage the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture, and the Picturing America project, which uses great American art to teach our nation’s history and culture in 80,000 schools and public libraries nationwide. He also created the NEH’s Digital Humanities Initiative and Office, which made the Endowment a national leader in this new frontier of humanities access and knowledge. Under his tenure partnerships were developed with several foreign countries, including Mexico and China.

Cole’s connection with the Endowment began when he received an NEH fellowship. He subsequently served as a panelist in NEH's peer review system, and then as a member for seven years of the National Council on the Humanities, the presidentially appointed and senate-confirmed 26-member NEH advisory board.

Cole came to the Endowment in December 2001, from Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was Distinguished Professor of Art History and Professor of Comparative Literature.  In 2008, he received the President’s Medal from the University for “excellence in service, achievement and teaching.” In 2006, Governor Mitch Daniels awarded Cole the Sagamore of the Wabash, which recognizes individuals who have brought distinction to the state of Indiana.

Born in Ohio, Cole attended Case Western Reserve University and earned a master's degree from Oberlin College and a doctorate from Bryn Mawr College. He is also a recipient of nine honorary doctorate degrees. For two years he was the William E. Suida Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence.  Cole has held fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Kress Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a corresponding member of the Accademia Senese degli Intronati, the oldest learned society in Europe.  He has written fourteen books and numerous articles.

Cole served on the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Woodrow Wilson Center board, and is a member of several boards, including American Heritage, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Villa Firenze Foundation. He has been appointed by the U.S. Senate to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. In 2010, Cole was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to Indiana University's Board of Trustees.

In November 2008, President Bush awarded Dr. Cole the Presidential Citizens Medal “for his work to strengthen our national memory and ensure that our country’s heritage is passed on to future generations.” The medal is one of the highest honors the President can confer upon a civilian, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Earlier in 2008, Cole was decorated Knight of the Grand Cross, the highest honor of the Republic of Italy.

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Phil Taylor
Artist and Founder of the American Fallen Soldier Project
Judge for Constituting America’s Best Holiday Greeting Card Design

Phil Taylor moved to Texas with his parents and two siblings as a young child.  His ability to draw and paint was recognized at an early age and, after completing high school, he began working with visual artist Brad Smith, graduate of The Art Institute of Chicago.  Phil is the artist behind The American Fallen Soldiers Project, a 501(c)3 organization that provides, at no cost to armed forces family members, an exquisitely framed original portrait of their fallen loved one. Phil and The American Fallen Soldiers Project seek to honor, respect and forever memorialize those who have sacrificed their lives protecting our freedom while serving in our Armed Forces.

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Sherry O. Watters
Artist and Owner of Something Special Boutique
Judge for Constituting America’s Best Holiday Greeting Card Design

Sherry O. Watters is an artist in Weatherford Texas who hand paints apparel. She began selling her artwork at the prompting of her husband Dennis in 1987. It began with five painted shirts and a few crafts, but quickly outgrew the little space in her husband’s Insurance office. Over the years, her renown expanded and now celebrities, entertainers, and special people from around the world make their way to her "one of a kind" boutique, where original works of art, of startling beauty, are painted upon wearing apparel, including hand painting and adding crystals to your own boots!  Sherry O', paints each piece by hand with great artistic care.

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PAST JUDGES-
John Rich
Country Music Star
2010 Judge for Constituting America’s Best Song

John Rich is an American country music singer-songwriter. From 1992 to 1998, he was a member of the country music band Lonestar, in which he played bass guitar and alternated with Richie McDonald as lead vocalist. In 2003, he joined Big Kenny to form the duo Big & Rich, who released three albums as well as ten singles, including the Number One "Lost in This Moment." After Big & Rich went on hiatus in 2007, Rich began work on a second solo album, Son of a Preacher Man, which has produced two more chart singles. John Rich has also worked with the Republican Party, performing his hit song “Raisin’ McCain” at campaign rallies and at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

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Constituting America National Youth Director Juliette Turner's Mount Vernon Speech!

Click The Video Above to Hear Juliette Discuss the Constitution at the George Washington Symposium at Mt. Vernon.
"The Youngest Scholar ever to Address a Symposium at Mt. Vernon!"


Our 2013 Winners
Best College Song
Micah Edwards
Texas
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Best College Song
Justis Ward
Georgia
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Best College Short Film
Amanda Tesarek
Wisconsin
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Best College Speech
Thomas Cooke
Nebraska
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Best College PSA
Emily Carnevale
Ohio
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Best High School PSA
Colton Hinderliter
Georgia
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Best High School PSA
Nicole Reed
Illinois
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Best High School Short Film
Josef Junek
Texas
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Best High School Song
Kory Shore
Pennsylvania
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Best High School Essay
Caroline Clauson
Ohio
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Best Middle School Song
Jessie Liz Clement
Tennessee
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Best Middle School Essay
Tiffany Curtis
Ohio
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Best Elementary School Poem
Lindsay Culpepper
Alabama
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Best Elementary School Artwork
Grace Canales
Texas

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Best Elemenary School Emblem
Maryem Bouatlaoui
Pennslyvania

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Best Senior Adult Essay
Bobbie Bramlett
Colorado
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Best Short Film by an Adult
Nathan & Gayle Poole
Texas
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Our 2012 Winners
Best College Speech
Matthew McNey
Maryland
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Best College Song
Kori Caswell
Missouri
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Best College Short Film
Kenthia Farmer
Tennessee
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Best College PSA
Shelby Seymore
Texas
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Best High School PSA
Jacob Schliesman
Wisconsin
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Best High School Short Film
Chasity Cagle
Georgia
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Best High School Short Film
Colton Hinderliter
Georgia
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Best High School Song
Annie Nirschel
Connecticut
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Best High School Essay
Brooke Wade
Florida
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Best Middle School Song

Jessie Liz Clement
Tennessee
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Best Middle School Essay
Evelyn Hanks
North Carolina
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Best Poem Grades 3-6
Bethany Cooksey
Oregon
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Best Poem Grades K-2
Abigail Olschewski
Utah

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Best Art
Preity Chavan
Georgia

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Our 2011 Winners
Best College Speech

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Jonathan Ludwig
South Carolina
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Best College Song

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Amber Hodge
South Carolina
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Best College Short Film

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Natalie Cuzmenco
North Carolina
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Best College PSA

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Nic Downs
California
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Best High School PSA

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Danielle Ragin
New York
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Best High School Short Film

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Spencer Kolssak
Illinois
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Best High School Song

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Kori Caswell
Missouri
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Best High School Essay

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Hannah Leffingwell
Colorado
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Best Middle School Song

Emily Keener
Ohio
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Best Middle School Essay

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Bailey Gabel
Colorado
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Best Poem Grades 3-6

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Jeffrey Pistor
Texas
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Best Poem Grades K-2

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Myra Vicchrilli
Colorado

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Best Art

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Emma Harrison
Texas

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Best Emblem

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Hollie Elliott
Arkansas

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Our Inaugural 2010 Winners
Best Public Service Announcement!

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Carisse Hamlet & Olga Zubashko
NEW YORK

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Best Short Film

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Katie Strawinski
GEORGIA

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Best High School Song

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Jacob Wood
CALIFORNIA

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Best Middle School Song

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Joseph Valencia
COLORADO

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Best High School Essay

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Bethany Carter
ALABAMA

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Best Middle School Essay

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Spencer Kolssak
ILLINOIS

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Best Poem Grades 3-6

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Joery Cohen
ARIZONA

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Best Poem Grades K-2

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Halley Moak
COLORADO

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Best Art

Doug DeMark Photo
Evita Duffy
WISCONSIN

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Best Emblem

Doug DeMark Photo
Sadie M Albritton
ALABAMA

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