The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invites all high school students (9th through 12th grades) interested in the American Revolution to participate in the George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest. The contest is open to all US Citizen and Legal Resident students attending home schools, public, parochial, or private high schools in that same grade range. The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the 2017-18 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students.

To participate, students must submit an original 800- to 1,200-word essay based on an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. Each student’s essay will be judged based upon its historical accuracy, clarity, organization, grammar and spelling, and documentation.

The contest is conducted in three phases: the local chapter, state-level society, and national phases. The contest must be entered through an SAR chapter near the student’s residence. In some cases, the contest may be entered at the state level (if the local society does not have chapters or the chapters are not participating) and a contact-at-large should be used to find out more contest details. The list of contest contacts listed below can provide you with assistance in entering the Knight Essay Contest. Only one entry per student is permitted per contest year.

complete set of rules, along with the application for both the applicant and the sponsoring SAR members, can be found below. Please be aware that the local application deadline dates may vary, so interested applicants should reach out to their local SAR member listed below for further details.


2021 Winner

2020-2021 Knight Essay Winner Noah Grebe
2020-2021 Knight Essay Winner Noah Grebe


The current George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest Judge-at-Large is Mr. Christopher Smithson (

SAR Society Knight Essay Contest Contact
Alabama SAR Edmon H. McKinley
Alaska SAR (Deadline January 31) Thomas J. Rollman
Arkansas SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Arizona SAR David Rodier
canondrodier@cox.netWilliam Baran PHD
California SAR Patrick Cecil
Colorado SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Connecticut SAR (Deadline February 1) John R. Morgan
Dakota SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Delaware SAR Brian Cox
District of Columbia SAR Doug Brooks
Empire State SAR (New York) James M. Eagan
Florida SAR Ron Grove 38 Lakeview Drive
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Georgia SAR Terry A. Gibbs
Hawaii SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Idaho SAR Matthew Brechwald
Email Link
Illinois SAR (Deadline January 15) Allan C Campbell MD
Indiana SAR James Douglas Hamilton
International SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Iowa SAR Doug Frazer
Kansas SAR (Deadline December 31) Stuart W. Conrad
Kentucky SAR Dale W. Henley
Louisiana SAR (Deadline January 15) George Clemenceau
Maine SAR David L. Manchester
Maryland SAR (Deadline December 31) C. Louis Raborg, Jr.
Massachusetts SAR Joseph Gauthier
Michigan SAR Norm Palmer
Minnesota SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Mississippi SAR Gerald P. Brent
Missouri SAR (Deadline December 31) Dale A. Schmidt
Montana SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Nebraska SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Nevada SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
New Hampshire (SAR Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
New Jersey SAR (Deadline December 31) Roger Williams

New Mexico SAR Kevin Carr
North Carolina SAR Stephen A. Morris
Ohio SAR Donald C. McGraw, Jr. 8380 Shawnee Run Road
Cincinnati, OH 45243-3359
Oklahoma SAR (Deadline December 31) Ronald W. Painter
Oregon SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Pennsylvania SAR J. Rennick Steele, Jr.
Rhode Island SAR John W Adams
South Carolina SAR (Deadline December 31) Glenn V. Ohanesian
Tennessee SAR (Deadline December 31) George E. Pesely
Texas SAR (Deadline December 31) John M. Hamlin
Utah SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson
Vermont SAR Zachariah L. Fike
Virginia SAR (Deadline January 10) Richard M. Sherman
Washington SAR Jeff Lightburn
16109 NE 217th Avenue Brush Prairie, WA 98606
West Virginia SAR Thomas J. Galloway
P.O. Box 697 Huntington, WV 25711-0697
Wisconsin SAR Thomas P. Curtis II
Wyoming SAR (Deadline December 31) Christopher Smithson

Previous Winners

The George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest Committee is proud to announce the winner of the national contest. Each year, the SAR receives an average of thirty state-level winners from around the country to compete in the national-level contest. Visitors can find a list of the previous George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest national winners below.

Year Winning Essayist Sponsoring SAR Society
2019 Wilson Gerald Reeves Alabama SAR
2018 Caleb S. Sheppard Florida SAR
2017 Katherine McLeod Texas SAR
2016 Joseph Nusbaum Florida SAR
2015 Matthew Penza Connecticut SAR
2014 Elizabeth Lilly Virginia SAR
2013 Bryan Habashi Virginia SAR
2012 Katie Lavender Virginia SAR
2011 Amanda Schanz Virginia SAR
2010 Cody E. Nager Empire State SAR
2009 Hayley Schoeppler Wisconsin SAR
2008 Jenna Barker South Carolina SAR
2007 Derek McMahan Kentucky SAR
2006 Kristin Personius Texas SAR
2005 H. Curtis Kuntz Pennsylvania SAR
2004 Daniel E. Sigler Empire State SAR
2003 Daniel E. Sigler Georgia SAR
2002 Nathan W. Skelly Missouri SAR
2001 Stephanie Condon California SAR
2000 Jenna Dondero Texas SAR
1999 Courtney Powell Virginia SAR
1998 Kimberly Braun Delaware SAR
1997 John Rackson Maryland SAR
1996 Justin Jaeck Wisconsin SAR
1995 Catherine Clayton Texas SAR