Caytlee Poole, an 8th grader at Prescott Jr High School, won the national prize for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) American History Essay Contest.
The DAR essay content is open to all schools nationwide to any student in 5th through 8th grade and each year a specific topic is selected for participants to write about. Schools that participate send one winning essay from each of the four grades to be judged at the state level. Then the state will send one winning essay from each of the four grades to be judged on a divisional level. The winning essay from each of the four grades will then be judged on the national level.
“The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation’s great history and learn about history in a new light,” the DAR website said. “Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.”
Poole’s essay was about the Boston Massacre in the eyes of a girl during that event. She was encouraged to apply for the content by her GT teacher.
“It was my last year and I just really wanted to win,” Poole said. “I love America and love being an American. I am a very patriotic person and love American history.”
Poole wrote about a fictional 13-year-old girl named Agnes Samuels and her essay was over 800 words long.
“It really opened my eyes on how scary and traumatizing that was for people back then,” she said.
She was originally announced as the winner at the state level, then district and then finally was recently announced as the national winner.
“I was just excited to win at my school,” she said. “When my teacher told me I won at state and then district and then national, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Poole begins her first year of high school in the fall and already knows what she wants to do for her future.
“I’m thinking about becoming a pharmacist in my hometown or becoming an athletic trainer because I love sports,” she said.