George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest

The George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest


The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2014-2015.

 

 

 

 


 

The George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest was originally established and named in honor of President Calvin Coolidge, who won a local SAR essay contest while a student at Amherst. The contest was reestablished in 1988 by Compatriot McCarthy DeMere.  In 1995, the contest was renamed the George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest in honor of their generous gift to the SAR to support this contest. The program is designed to give freshman, sophomore, junior and senior students an opportunity to explore events that shaped American history.

Conducted at the Chapter, State Society and National Society levels, the 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 United States Constitution.


 

A list of our Former National Winners Can be found here.


 

An example Essay can be found here.

Knight Essay Contest Rules

CONTEST RULES

1.  ELIGIBILITY, SUBMISSION OF ESSAYS and DEADLINES

This contest is open to all students who are United States citizens or legal resident aliens. Contestants shall be in the freshman, sophomore, junior or senior grade of high school study during the contest year and attending school, including accredited home schools.

The contest must be entered through a Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution near the student's residence. If the State does not have chapters or if the chapters are not participating, the contest may be entered at the State level. If the State does not participate, then the essay may be submitted to the At Large Judge (see below). Only one entry per student is permitted per contest year. The first place national winner is not eligible to participate in the contest again.

Chapter and State essay submission dates may vary by location. Chapter and state deadlines are established by the chapter and state chairmen. Check ESSAY CONTACTS to locate your state contact and to request local deadline and submission information.

All essays must be submitted to the Chapter or State Knight Essay Chairmen by the deadline established by the Chapter or State. For students from a state where the State Society does not participate, the essay must be submitted to the At Large Judge, Mr. Allen Gray (knightessayatcomcast [dot] net), by December 31st. Some Chapter or State Chairmen encourage the electronic submission of the essay. If submitting an essay electronically, confirm the acceptable format(s) with the Chapter or State chairman.

All Chapters must submit their winning essay and the state contest entry form to their State Chairmen by the deadline established by the State Chairman (usually January 31st).

State Chairmen must submit their winning essays and the national contest entry form to the National Chairman no later than February 28th. E-mail submissions, for the sake of time, are preferred by the national chairman. U.S. Mail is also acceptable, but essays must be received (not postmarked) by February 28th.

The National Chairman will notify all state chairmen who submitted an essay whether their entry was among the finalists by early April. The national winners will be informed in order to be able to attend the Congress. The first-place national winner will read the winning essay at the Youth Awards Luncheon. The winning essay will be published in The SAR Magazine.

2.  ESSAY SUBJECTS and RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS

The topic of the essay shall deal with an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. The essay must be based upon no less than five references, at least three of which must be published works. References to an encyclopedia or Internet websites are acceptable, but will not be satisfy the requirement that at least three references be published works. If there are no published references, the essay will be disqualified. Plagiarism will be grounds for immediate disqualification.

3.  ESSAY FORMAT REQUIREMENTS

General Requirements: An original copy of the essay must be submitted. Poor quality copies will not be accepted. If submitted by mail, no bindings or special covers are needed. Graphics are not permitted. The essay must be written in English.

Specific Requirements: The essay must have four parts: (1) title page, (2) essay text, (3) bibliography, and (4) contestant's biography, each of which is described in more detail below. The title page, bibliography and contestant's biography must be on separate pages. In order to avoid bias, a blind-judging process is used, and the judges are provided with only the essay text and bibliography pages. Therefore, no reference to the contestant's name or other identifying information may appear on the essay text or bibliography pages. Essays that do not conform exactly to these requirements will be disqualified.

  • The title page must include the title of the essay, contestant's name, contestant's grade level, address, telephone number, and email address. In addition, the title page must include the name, address, and telephone number of the school in which the contestant is enrolled. This page is separated from the essay for judging purposes.
  • The essay text must be a minimum of 800 words and may not exceed 1,200 words (excluding title page, footnotes, bibliography page, and biography page). The first page of the essay text must include the title of the essay. No contestant information may appear on the essay text pages.
  • Citations in the essay text and references in the bibliography must be in accordance with a widely used and publicly available citation system. Examples of a citation system include the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Manual of Style, the MHRA Style Guide, The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, and "Harvard referencing." The bibliography page must specify the system used. No contestant information may appear on the bibliography page(s).
  • The contestant's biography is limited to one page and must include information regarding the contestant's academic awards and achievements, school activities, community activities, and plans for college. This page is separated from the essay text and bibliography pages for judging purposes.

4.  JUDGING CRITERIA

Essays that meet the criteria in Rules 1-3 above will be accepted and judged on the following equally weighted criteria:

  • Historical accuracy
  • Clarity of thought
  • Organization and proven topic
  • Grammar and spelling
  • Documentation

5.  AWARDS

Chapter and State prizes vary. Please contact Chapter and State Chairmen for more information. The National Society awards are as follows:

  • First place:  $5,000; a medal with a recognition certificate; up to $500 toward travel expenses; and a one-night hotel stay for the winner and a chaperone at the SAR Annual Congress.
  • Second Place:  $2,500 and a recognition certificate.
  • Third Place:  $1,000 and a recognition certificate.

6.  PUBLICATION and ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS

The national winning essay will be submitted for publication in The SAR Magazine. Participants in this contest agree that their essay may be published in The SAR Magazine and on the NSSAR Knight Essay Contest webpage. Winning essay participants, on all levels, may be required to supply a tax identification number in order to receive their award. By entering this contest, all participants agree that if their essay is chosen as the National winning essay will be the property of NSSAR. All participants further agree further agree that the National winning essay may not be submitted to any other contest or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the NSSAR Knight Essay Contest Chairman.

7.  NSSAR DECISIONS ARE FINAL AND NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW

Participants in this contest agree that the interpretation of the rules and decisions of the National Chairman and its judges must govern without reservation and that decisions of the judges and/or the National Chairman are final.

Questions regarding specific rules may be directed to the National Chairman.

Michael J. Elston
P.O. Box 336
Lorton VA 22199-0336
E-mail: elston [dot] saratgmail [dot] com



The George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contacts

The George S. & Stella M. Knight
Essay Contacts in Our State Societies


If you cannot locate a Chapter of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in your area, the list below identifies a contact for the contest by State.

If the list does not indicate Chapter level participation please mail the essay directly to the State Contact listed.

All submissions must be in the hands of the Chapter Knight Essay Chairmen or, in the case where the State Society does not participate, the At Large Judge Allen Gray by December 31st.

All Chapters must have their winning Knight Essay in the hands of the State Knight Essay Chairman by the end of February 1st.

All State Knight Essay Chairmen must have their winning Knight Essay in the hands of the National Society Chairman by March 1st. Essays received after the deadlines will be regretfully disqualified.

To locate a Chapter in your area, please send a letter, indicating the city and state or country where you reside with a self addressed [applicant's home address in top left corner], stamped [stamps in upper right corner please], business size (Number 10) envelope [self-adhesive, please - we sometimes receive 1000 a month!] enclosed, to the appropriate address in the listing of State Society contacts below.

Please note:  requests for information that do not include the self addressed, stamped envelope will not be answered.

For those listings where an E-mail contact is given, E-mail may be used to request local Chapter information instead of the letter correspondence.


The following links will Jump you to that part of the list:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N |

O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | International

 

State
Contact
Notes
AL
Alabama

Michael C. Wells
3332 Wisteria Drive
Birmingham, AL 35216
Phone: (205) 979-2979
Cellphone: (205) 901-1854
E-mail: mcwells1944atyahoo [dot] com

Entries must be postmarked prior to
15 January

AK

Alaska

Tom Rollman
E-mail: Rollman_Tomatasdk12 [dot] org

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
AR
Arkansas

 
 
 
Phone: (501) 
E-mail: 

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
AZ
Arizona

Bob B. Alling, II
5317 N Monte Vista Dr
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253-7066
Phone: (602) 944-8811
E-mail: rballingIIataol [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
CA
California

Dr. M. Kent Gregory
3822 Denwood Ave
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
E-mail: drkentgregoryatearthlink [dot] net

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
CO

Colorado

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
CT
Connecticut

John R. Morgan
P.O. Box 231
Waterford, CT 06385
Phone: (860) 444-7306
E-mail: mainatWestNeckCemetery [dot] com

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
DE
Delaware

David Schrader, PhD.
Phone: (302) 266-0356
E-mail: dschradeatudel [dot] edu

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
DC
District of Columbia

Brock D. Bierman
35086 Harry Byrd Highway
Round Hill VA 20141
Phone: (401) 580-9200
E-mail: repbrockatmsn [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December

Further information on website
FL]
Florida

John M. Stewart
1121 32nd Ave North,
St. Petersburg, Fl. 33704
Phone: (561) 313-4444
E-mail: 1965uvaatgmail [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level
Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
Further information on website:
http://www.flssar.org
GA
Georgia

Terry A. Gibbs
3721 Hickory Ridge Ct., N.E.
Marietta, GA 30066
Phone: (770) 971-5350
email: tgibbsatbellsouth [dot] net

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
1st December

Deadline may vary by Chapter
Visit State Website for further information.
HI
Hawaii

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
IA
Iowa
David A. Shannon
1105 S. 5th Ave W
Newton IA 50208-3512
Phone: (641) 792-1310
E-mail: dshann37atiowatelecom [dot] net
Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
ID
Idaho

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
IL
Illinois

Gary List
26624 Liberty Lane
Washington, IL 61571
Phone: (309) 231-1943
E-mail: grlistattelstar-online [dot] net

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

15 February
IN
Indiana

Douglas Wilson
509 S. Sale St
Ellettsville, IN  47429

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
KS
Kansas

Stuart W. Conrad, Esq.
1209 Penntower Office Center, 3100 Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: (816) 753-1122 Ext 211
E-mail: stuconatswclaw [dot] net

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
KY
Kentucky

John C. Barnett
3107 Limerick Ln
Louisville, KY 40242-2917
E-mail: jace760atyahoo [dot] com

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
LA
Louisiana

Arthur F. Schafer
814 S Washington St
Lafayette LA 70501
Phone: (337)237-6280
Fax: (337)237-9638
E-mail: afschaferatmosslaw [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level, not all Chapters participate

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
MA
Massachusetts

Dr. David E. Schrader
Massachusetts Society
Sons of the American Revolution
21 Liberty St
Sandwich, MA 02563
Phone: (774) 338-5271
Email: dschradeatudel [dot] edu

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
MD
Maryland

C. Louis Raborg Jr.
Knight Essay Chairman MDSSAR
714 Chestnut Hill Rd
Forest Hill, MD 21050
E-mail: raborg1989atverizon [dot] net

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
ME
Maine

Wayne Mallar
103 Essex St
Bangor, ME 04401-5301
E-mail: Essex103ataol [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
MI
Michigan

William G Vette
11389 Oakwood Dr.
Jerome, MI 49249-9804
E-mail: vwk1ataol [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
MN
Minnesota

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
MO
Missouri

Dale Schmidt
5624 Bradford Ct
Jefferson City, MO 65109
E-mail: schmidtda17atembarqmail [dot] com

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
MS
Mississippi

Knight Essay Contest Committee
Henry Lee Ashcraft
P.O. Box 444
Horn Lake, MS 38637
Phone: (662) 393-0878

Conducts contest at Chapter level
Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December

MT
Montana

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
NC
North Carolina

Stephen Morris
4653 Forest Highland Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina 27604
Phone: (919) 210-9005
E-mail: stephenmorris-saratnc [dot] rr [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
ND
North Dakota

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
NE
Nebraska

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
NH
New Hampshire

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
NJ
New Jersey

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
NM
New Mexico

Ray Alexander
E-mail: anniealexatearthlink [dot] net

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to Thursday

15 February
NV
Nevada

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
NY
New York

Knight Essay Contest Committee
Hon. James M. Eagan
345 Gibson St
Canandaigua, NY 14424
Phone: (585) 259-2494
E-mail: eagan1705atrochester [dot] rr [dot] com

Entries must be postmarked prior to
26 December
OH
Ohio

Larry R. Perkins
101 Curtis Ln
St. Clairsville, OH 43950-1154
E-mail: perkins6275atsbcglobal [dot] net

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
OK
Oklahoma

Ron Painter
1356 E 43rd Ct
Tulsa, OK 74105
Phone: (918) 850-3122
E-mail: ronpainteratmsn [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
OR
Oregon

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
PA
Pennsylvania

William E. Harry
595 1/2 State St
Meadville, PA 16335-2272
Phone: (814) 651-1996
E-mail: bill [dot] harry51atgmail [dot] com

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
RI
Rhode Island

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
SC
South Carolina

Glenn Ohanesian
SCSSAR Knight Essay Committee
P.O. Box 2433
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578-2433
Phone: (843) 626-7193
E-mail: OhanesianLawFirmatcs [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
SD
South Dakota

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
TN
Tennessee

Dr. George E. Pesely
334 Harold Dr.
Clarksville, TN 37040
Phone: (931) 648-9224
E-mail: peselygatapsu [dot] edu

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
TX
Texas

John M. Hamlin
415 Primrose Lane
League City, TX 77573
E-mail: johnmhamlinatyahoo [dot] com

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
UT
Utah

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
VT
Vermont

Cpt Zachariah LaVerne Fike US Army
26 Decatur St
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (315) 523-3609
E-mail: crossfitnationathotmail [dot] com

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
VA
Virginia

Richard Morey Sherman
E-mail: rmsalpatgmail [dot] com

Conducts contest at Chapter level

Entries must be postmarked prior to

31 December
WA
Washington

Al Pinkham
5115 NW Discovery Ridge Ct
Silverdale, WA 98383
Phone: (360) 698-7381
E-mail: alpinkhamathotmail [dot] com

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
5 December
WV
West Virginia

Tom Galloway
PO Box 697
Huntington, WV 25711-0697
E-mail: tgallowayatmarshall [dot] edu

Conducts contest at State level

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
WI
Wisconsin

Knight Essay Contest Committee
LTC Thomas Pelham Curtis, II
N56W21796 Silver Spring Dr
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051-5331
Phone: (262)703-0807
E-mail: thebruceatexecpc [dot] com

Entries must be postmarked prior to
31 December
WY
Wyoming

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

State does not participate. Contestants submit to the At Large Judge Allen Gray

Entries must be submitted as a .pdf email attachment on or before 31 December
Guilford Courthouse Flag
Int'l Society

Send to the At Large Judge
Allen Gray
E-mail: knightessayatcomcast [dot] net

RESIDENCE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES (THIS INCLUDES THE US TERRITORIES)

Entries must be e-mailed on or before 31 December
State
Contact
 






 

The George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest Example

2001-2002 First Place Essay

by
NATIONAL WINNER
Ms. Stephanie Condon

 

Withstanding the Test of Time


Sponsored by: the California Society



Withstanding the Test of Time.

According to legend, as the exulted Benjamin Franklin stepped out of the last session of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in September of 1787, a curious woman queried, "What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?"  Franklin answered, "A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it."1  Remarkably, over 200 years later, the United States has kept its constitution, and the republic for which it was created has flourished.  While fledgling democracies across the continents have modeled the frameworks of their governments after the U.S. Constitution, America's system of democracy remains spectacularly unique and successful, largely due to its constitution.  The framers of the Constitution created an adaptable instrument of government which withstands the test of time through a system of checks and balances and separation of powers.

At the Constitutional Convention, the framers set out to develop a form of government stronger than a confederation; it could not be unitary though, otherwise the states would not ratify it.  They borrowed ideas from both of these forms of government to form a federal republic.  Once federalism was decided upon to unify the states without constraining them, the next step in developing a lasting constitution was creating a separation of powers.   James Madison wrote in The Federalist, No. 47, "No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that ... the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."2  The framers ingeniously wove into the Constitution three ways to ensure a clear separation of powers among the three branches of government.   First, the leaders in the different branches come to power in different ways; the president is elected through a national election, the congressmen are elected on a state level, and the federal judges are appointed to their positions.   Next, the bureaucracy is appointed by the president but only by the consent of the Senate.  Also, each power serves for a different amount of time.   This keeps the powers separate by ensuring that a majority party can only take control over part of the government at one time.3  For instance, the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives after the election in 1994, but President Clinton would represent the Democrats in the executive branch for at least t