Local high school students were recently recognized for their knowledge of their country and of their government.
The Americanism and Government Test program of the Ohio American Legion was created by Legionnaires of Ohio in 1936. Although created by the Ohio American Legion, the Americanism and Government Test program is a joint venture and partnership with the Ohio American Legion Auxiliary, which is a co-sponsor of the program and is open to students in grades 10, 11 and 12.
The 50-question test is comprised of true/false, multiple choice, fill-in the blank and a 300-word essay, with every student writing on the same essay topic selected/written each year by members of the Department Americanism Committee and Department Americanism Director. The essay is utilized in the various judging levels of this program as a tie-breaker.
The Americanism and Government Test is not designed to have one student compete against another; the students themselves do not advance in the competition — the student’s test paper does.
The test is designed to test an individual student’s knowledge of the U.S. flag, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, state, county, city, township and village government in Ohio, as well as school district government in Ohio.
In November, members of the Wilmington Veterans Post 49 Americanism Committee administered the test to more than 500 students at Clinton-Massie, East Clinton and Wilmington high schools.
At the regular Post 49 meeting Jan. 23, Post 49 Commander Greg Gray with the assistance of Americanism Committee Chairman Brady Stephens and Clinton County Commander Richard James presented awards to the following school winners:
• Grade 10: Clayton Amburgy and Delaney Miller
• Grade 11: Andrew Settlemeyer and Jennifer Callewaert
•Grade 12: Alec Thomas and Johanna Theetge
• Grade 10: Ethan Reedy and Sarah Ross
• Grade 11: Austin Rolfe, Alexandria Turner and Katlin Durbin
• Grade 12: Blake Bronson and Grace Cooper
• Grade 10: Brayden Rhoades and Sophia Agee
• Grade 11: Jonathan Fender and Jordan Snarr
• Grade 12: Sam Osborn and Samantha Burns
Chairman Stephens also presented certificates of appreciation to a representative from each school — Kevin Snarr of Wilmington, Kerri Matheny of East Clinton and Matt Baker of Clinton-Massie.
Ohio and beyond
On average, over 65,000 students participate in the test program annually. Post and county winners are narrowed to 84 district winners, whose winning test papers are submitted to a State Judging Committee, which selects three young men and three young women each, from grades 10, 11 and 12.
The State Award from the Ohio American Legion for the 18 state winners is a five-day all-expenses paid trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. under the direction of the Department Americanism Director, accompanied by representatives of the Ohio American Legion and Ohio American Legion Auxiliary.
A highlight of the trip is a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.