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Three from Ava R-1 Schools Win VFW Awards

by Michael Boyink /

Grace Key

Ava HS Junior Grace Key won the Voice of Democracy Essay/Speech Contest from the VFW. She will move on to the state competition to compete for a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

According to the VFW website, “The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles. The national first place winner receives a $30,000

Sara Sacco

scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school.”

Sarah Sacco, Ava HS Band Director, won the local, district, and state VFW Smart/Maher VFW Teacher of the Year Award. 

Annette Copeland, Ava fourth grade teacher, won the local Ava VFW Post 5993 and VFW District 18 Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award for 2019 for the elementary division. 

Annette Copeland

According to the VFW website, “The VFW launched the Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Award in 1999 to recognize classroom teachers for promoting citizenship education. Three teachers from each level (grades K-5, 6-8 & 9-12) are selected as national winners.  Each national award teacher winner receives the Past Commander-in-Chief John Smart Award and $1,000.”