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BRANSON – Hard work and creativity has paid off for three area high school juniors.
June 10-16, Megan Reed, Forsyth High School; Klaire Bruce, homeschooler; and McKensie Hodges, Hollister High School will head for Washington, D.C., to represent White River Valley Electric Cooperative (WRVEC) on the Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.
The students earned the spots by taking top honors at WRVEC’s annual Youth Tour Essay Contest Banquet which was held Friday, April 1, at the Keeter Center, located on the campus of College of the Ozarks.
The contest, sponsored by WRVEC, is open to all high school juniors or equivalent who attend school in WRVEC’s five-county service area. To enter, students submitted an essay of 1000 words of less on an assigned topic. One finalist from each of the 14 participating schools was chosen by three written judges.
The 2011 written judges included Leon Combs, Bradleyville author; Carol Bruneau-Malson, Branson community volunteer; and Carol Harris, College of the Ozarks instructor.
At the April 1 banquet, the finalists presented their essays to their families, teachers and three oral presentation judges: Kevin Hurd, Cuivre River Electric Cooperative; Janet Ellis, KRZK; and Jim McCarty, Association of Missouri Cooperatives.
The three winners were chosen based on the scores each finalist received from the judges and on how well they performed on a quiz about electric cooperatives.
Next summer, the trio will join more than 1,400 other essay winners from around the country for an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. where they will tour national monuments, visit with senators and representatives and experience government in action.
Other finalists included Adam Jenkins, Reeds Spring High School; Tamara Yost, Ava High School; Anna McGee, Ozark High School; Katie Pellham, Bradley-ville High School; Ethan Potter, Ava Victory Academy; Angelica Makuch, Branson High School, Ashlee Jones, Chadwick High School; Christi Landrum, Gainesville High School; Kyle Gammon, Spokane High School; Libby Smith, Sparta High School and Erica Vandiver, Nixa High School.