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AHS Freshman Wins Essay Contest

The Wa-Pe-Ke-Way chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution hosts an annual essay contest for Hendricks County high school students. Avon High School freshman, Audrey Faletic, is the Hendricks County champion.

She continues building on her success. She previously won the middle school version of this essay contest in grades 7 and 8. Each of the saw her place 2nd in the state among middle school students. This year's victory placed her 3rd in the state among all Indiana high school essayists.

Audrey's results were "pretty good for a Freshman competing against 10, 11, and 12 graders," write Indiana State DAR Magazine Chair Linda Teany in an email to AHS Principal Matt Shockley. Pretty good, indeed! About this year's assignment, Teany continues, "Students had  to select a figure from the era of the American Revolution (1773-1783). They had to discuss how he or she influenced the course of the American Revolution, and of course, who he or she was and his/her contribution to the founding of a new nation."

Audrey will attend the Indiana DAR State Conference in May as the State's 3rd place winner.

Congratulations, Audrey! 

Audrey gave us permission to share an excerpt of her award winning essay here:

It was a chilly morning, but the Danbury Public Library stood strong against the nippy wind. Red-cheeked people milled happily along the sidewalk in front of it, most entering the building itself, but not all of them.

“Right where my bench used to be,” grunted a grumpy teenager to herself, standing outside the library and staring at a recently built statue. The statue depicted a young woman. She was mounted upon a horse, her expression fierce, a small stick gripped in her hand. But the teen didn’t see a statue, she saw an intrusion replacing the bench that used to be her favorite spot for studying. “Stupid statue,” she muttered.
   
“Excuse me,” said a voice, “do you know who this is?”

The teenager turned to the left. A gray-haired woman glowered at her, hands on hips.
 
“Yes,” she said, “someone from the American Revolution, says so on the plaque.”

The woman’s expression grew fiercer still. “This is Sybil Ludington.”

The teen shrugged. “Sybil Ludington? Never heard of her.”

The confident-eyed woman looked insulted. “This, young lady, is the statue of a heroine. You see that horse? Its name was Star. Sybil and Star rode in the middle of the night, with enemies all around, to alert colonists of the oncoming British!”

The teenager rolled her eyes. “Okay, whatever,” she said, turning away.

However, the woman crossed her arms and continued. “Whatever?  Whatever?” she asked. “The British were coming fast. They had already burned much of Danbury to the ground. Sybil’s father was a colonel in the war, and she promised him that she would ride through the night, alerting everyone she could to the British’s approach.  It was storming. It was dark. It was dangerous. But her father was a colonel and had to stay to prepare for the attack, leaving only Sybil to alert the Colonists. So, despite the danger she saddled her horse and rode.”

“Interesting,” mumbled the bored teen, “doesn’t sound like a very good father to me, sending her out to get hit by lightning.”

“This is not a joke!” the woman replied. “Imagine it,” she said, closing her eyes. “Put yourself in her shoes. Thunder is rippling through the clouds. You’re sixteen years old.”

“I am sixteen,” the girl said closing her eyes.

“Lightning is flashing around you. With every clap of thunder, the horse jolts. You hug its sides with your legs to keep from falling off, all the while holding the reins firm to keep the horse on the road. The reins cut into your palms, blistering your skin. You keep glancing behind you and squinting in front of you, hoping to see any potential enemies before they see you. But the rain blurs your vision, and you can hardly see the path. A musty smell rises from the horse. The constant rain competes with the sounds of the horse’s hooves hammering against the ground. Your clothes are drenched from water and sweat. They stick to your skin. It’s miserably cold. Your only warmth comes from the horse’s galloping body. Then, suddenly, you hear the faint sound of hooves behind you, so muffled you have to strain to hear it. You can’t be sure whether it is a friend or a foe; you can only hope that the dark and the storm hides you from the rider’s view. You tug with your left hand, steering the horse off the side of the road and into the woods. You retreat as far into the woods as you dare, hearing the hooves getting closer and closer. You run your hand through the horse’s dripping fur, praying silently that it makes no noise, and that a sudden clap of thunder doesn’t cause it to bolt. Then the sound of hooves pass, and you sigh in relief.” 

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