Five Hampton Bays Middle School students and one from the Hampton Bays High School were honored for their winning “Patriot Pen” and “Voice of Democracy” essays during the January District Board meeting on Tuesday, January 11, at the high school. The students were recognized again at a special awards ceremony at the Quogue VFW Post #5350 on Thursday, January 27.

At the school board meeting, high school senior Pawel Golyski, eighth graders Luke Himmelsbach, Taylor Dunn and Autumn Tlockowski, seventh grader Emily Veeck, and sixth grader Gary Tetrault were recognized for their efforts by Hampton Bays administrators Mike Carlson and Anthony DeBlasio and Quogue VFW Post #5350 member and contest chairman William Hughes.

The students gathered again at the Quogue VFW on January 27 for a special awards ceremony and reception. At that ceremony, the essay winners mingled with winners from the Westhampton Beach School District, VFW Post #5350 Commander Arma Andon, Mr. Hughes and other local veterans.

The “Patriot Pen” essay contest is an annual national contest, open to students in the sixth through eighth grades, and is sponsored by the local VFW Post. The annual “Voice of Democracy” contest is for high school students and is also sponsored by the VFW. This year’s theme for the contests was “Does Patriotism Really Matter?”