Four Fayette County students — Siara Eggleton and Jenna Goddard from Miami Trace and Emily Barker and Nate Crichton from Fayette Christian — were recently honored for their scores on the Americanism and Government Test, a statewide program which is organized by the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary.
The program consists of a 50-question test developed by American Legion personnel at the state level based on the US flag, US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the federal government, county government, city government and school board government. There is one essay question used as a tie breaker.
Locally, the program is conducted by American Legion Post and Auxiliary Unit Number 25. As Americanism chairman for the Post, Edward Helt has chaired the A&G program for many years. The A&G test is given prior to Veterans Day each year, the awards can be presented at the three local school districts on or close to the special holiday, along with special programs at the schools.
“This combination certainly has turned Veterans Day into a special treat for many local veterans,” said Helt.
For several years, Nick Epifano, owner/operator of McDonald’s of Fayette County, has provided gift cards for school and county winners. The Fayette County Veterans Service Office has donated very nice ballpoint pens and has printed out the local certificates.
Each school district has six school winners — a boy and girl in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. County winners are those school winners with the highest scores for the six positions of boy and girl in the three grades.
“The Fayette County winners were sent to our District Seven to select six district winners from any of the 26 posts in the district that are participants in the A&G program,” said Helt.
Fayette County was recently notified, according to Helt, that the following of the county winners are District Seven winners and eligible for a state award: Eggleton (a senior), Barker (a junior), Crichton (a sophomore) and Goddard (a sophomore).
Eggleton was named one of the 18 state award winners chosen each year.
According to Helt, Eggleton has participated each year since she started being eligible as a sophomore and was named a winner in her respective grade each of those years. Now as a senior, Eggleton was named a winner in her grade, county, district and finally was named the 12th grade girl winner in the state.
“But the most important aspect of her participation is that each of the three years she participated her winning scores were much improved each year and this year her grade was 96,” Helt said during the presentation at Miami Trace High School last week. “This score made her a school and county winner at home. For further judging she was declared a winner at the Legion’s District Level — being named the girl winner of district seven. The final judging at the state level awarded her the 12th grade girl winner and the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C., Gettysburg and other historic and politically prominent places on an all-expense paid trip with other winners like herself, chaperoned by Christie White, the Ohio Coordinator of Americanism and Children & Youth Programs of the American Legion.”
Eggleton was also gifted some funds for her trip from the American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary unit.
“Although the A&G program for this year had to be adjusted by the schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they still made it work,” said Helt. “Had they not, many of these students would have missed out on a valuable lesson in life. On behalf of American Legion Post 25 and the Ladies Auxiliary Unit 25, I sincerely thank everyone that helped. I also thank the Record-Herald for giving the coverage to the Legion’s program this year and all the previous years.”