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SHS Junior Anna Smilie wins the SAR Essay Contest

Mike Welch, SHS History Teacher; David Schrader, the President of the Cape Cod Chapter of the Massachusetts Society; and Anna Smilie at the recent award ceremony.

by Mike Welch, History/Social Studies Teacher – Sandwich High School

Sandwich High School junior Anna Smilie has been awarded a significant recognition for her writing in the field of American History.

Anna entered an exemplary essay entitled “The Incident on King Street” – as the Boston Massacre was known in Great Britain – for the annual Sons of the American Revolution Essay Contest. The SAR Essay Contest in honor of George S. and Stella M. Knight is designed to give high school students an opportunity to explore events that shaped American history. At Chapter, State Society, and National Society levels, students must submit an original essay, with topics based on original research and deal with an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the US Constitution. Winners earn a cash award.  

Earlier this year, Anna’s AP US History teacher Mike Welch encouraged his students to submit an essay. AP US History students do a large amount of writing to begin with and over the course of the year complete a variety of essays to practice writing and exercising their historical thinking skills. Dr. David Schrader, a Sandwich resident and the Educational Director for the Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the American Revolution made Mr. Welch aware of this annual opportunity four years ago.

Anna wrote and revised a well-rendered piece, shaping her essay into a wonderful original narrative about how the Boston Massacre was perceived by the inhabitants of Boston, the British people, and in the popular culture of the time. Most importantly, Anna identified the event in its historical context as a critical development leading to the American Revolution.

Anna was honored at the Cape Cod Chapter’s meeting in March 18, which was held at the Dan’l Webster Inn. Anna read her essay to the members and guests in attendance, which included Anna’s parents and Mr. Welch. Anna was awarded a beautifully crafted medal struck and inscribed for the occasion, as well as a certificate and a cash prize.   

Anna has not only completed serious research and written an exemplary essay worthy of publication, but, at the time of this writing her essay is being reviewed for the Massachusetts Society’s State-level contest. This is a great honor; of which Anna, her family, and her community should be proud.

Additionally, Mr. Welch was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution “in recognition of outstanding support given to the Sons of the American Revolution” for his teaching of American History.