Voice of Democracy


Mr. Greg Kester

Congratulations are in order to this year’s 2020 Voice of Democracy contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Jordan Browne, senior at Potosi High School, won the first place local prize consisting of $100.  His speech will be taken to the district competition and, if successful at that level, have the opportunity to compete for the state championship. James Snider, junior, won second place and a $75 prize.  Carly Saunder placed third and won $50. 

The liaison for the local VFW, Mrs. Pat Nixon, presented the prizes in person to the students on Tuesday, November 2nd.  Her efforts over the years have made the program an incredible success.  In the last three years alone, students at Potosi High School have garnered almost $1500 in prizes and scholarships, none of which would have been possible without Mrs. Nixon’s work.

The VFW has been sponsoring this contest at PHS for more than two decades.  Every year, the contest is open to any student, grades 9-12, enrolled in a Missouri public, private, or parochial school.  Local winners, district winners, and contestants at the state competition can walk away with hundreds or thousands of dollars in scholarships.  Each state winner travels to Washington D.C. to compete at the national competition and a chance to win a scholarship to the college of the winner’s choice of $20,000.  While no student from PHS has yet to achieve that level of success, the Trojans had a student, Mr. Ian Fairchild, place at the state competition and win $700 in scholarships.

The contest revolves around a student creating, writing, and recording a speech or “audio essay” that revolves around the yearly theme.  This year’s theme was, “Is this the nation that the founders envisioned.”  It was a challenging question.  Jordan’s submission placed first because of the sincerity of the position he took, its organization, and looking at the issue from several different angles.  

The next time students will have the opportunity to engage in this contest again will be in September and October of 2021.  The theme has not yet been determined and no one knows who will win next year’s competition.  Mrs. Nixon, however, emphatically declared that she will be back next year to collect those submissions.  PHS and its relationship with the local VFW is strong and will remain so long into the future.