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Elections System Marks 60th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary With Essay Contest

Students at V.I. Montessori and Peter Gruber International Academy along with first-place essay contest winner Ellis Wisehart and third-place winner VeNiya Callwood, center, and Deputy Supervisor of Elections for St. Thomas/St. John District Kevermay Douglas, right. (Photo submitted by Elections System of the V.I.)

Students throughout the territory from grades seven through nine participated in an essay contest sponsored by the Elections System of the Virgin Islands. The requirement was to prepare an essay between 500 to 600 words with the topic, “What actions can you and your peers take to engage Virgin Islanders to actively participate in democracy, to get involved in elections, raise the level of civic engagement of their peers, and to register to vote.”

Karen Chancellor, from left, with essay contest winners Jade Browne and Zion Moorhead of Pearl B. Larsen K-8th School, Ace Poyah of St. Croix Educational Complex High School, and St. Croix District Insular Superintendent Ericilda Ottley-Herman. (Photo submitted by ESVI)

The essays were judged by a panel of journalists. First-place winners were awarded a $200 check and a $50 Amazon gift card. Second-place winners took home a $100 check and a $50 gift card, and third-place winners received a $50 gift card. All of the students received certifications of participation.   

First-place winner Ellis Wisehart, her parents, and Deputy Supervisor of Elections St. Thomas/St. John District Kevermay Douglas (Submitted photo by ESVI)

Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes and the Board of Elections extended congratulations to the winners and all participants. “We are pleased with the thoughtful essays that were submitted by the students and  their interest in civic engagement in our community,” she said.

Karen Chancellor, from left, Terrell Alexandre, Zion Moorehead, and Ericilda Ottley-Herman. (Submitted photo by ESVI).

“Everyone, no matter the age, is affected by the outcome of each of our elections. Youth who learn about voting early on are quite likely to become informed voters as adults. We are grateful to the schools whose students participated” said Fawkes. 

The winners of the “One Person, One Vote” Diamond Jubilee 60th Anniversary Essay Contest are listed below by district. 

St. Thomas/ St. John District 

1st Place – Ellis Wisehart – VI Montessori School/Peter Gruber International Academy 

2nd Place – Widerline Jeune – Charlotte Amalie High School 

3rd Place – VeNiya Callwood – VI Montessori School/Peter Gruber International Academy 

St. Croix District 

1st Place – Zion Moorhead – Pearl B. Larsen School 

2nd Place – Ace Poyah – St. Croix Educational Complex 

3rd Place – Jade Browne – Pearl B. Larsen School 

According to press release, the Elections System of the Virgin Islands continues to celebrate its 60th Jubilee Anniversary.  “Thriving with Integrity, Elections System Celebrates Sixty!!” “Marking Milestones,” a one-hour television special produced by ESVI will air Saturday, March 11, at 4 pm on WTJX-TV. 

For additional information, contact the Elections System offices, St. Croix (340) 773-1021, and St. Thomas, (340) 774-3107. 

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