East Seniors Win Trip for Top Scores on Americanism Test

East Seniors Win Trip for Top Scores on Americanism Test
Posted on 02/12/2018
This is the image for the news article titled East Seniors Win Trip for Top Scores on Americanism TestEast students who won Americanism contest

“There are between 40,000 to 65,000 tests administered each year across Ohio, and the sheer numbers make it very, very rare to have a state award winner from any school or any district. But to have two from the same school in the same year, it’s just remarkable,” said Jerry Nelson, Americanism Chairman of American Legion Post 681.

The remarkable happened at Lakota East this year, when seniors Hannah Ackerman and Weston Lindner won the State of Ohio Awards for best scores and essays on the annual Government Test administered by the American Legion. Their prize is a five-day escorted and guided tour to Washington, D.C. and the Gettysburg, Pa battlefield sponsored by the Ohio American Legion. 

Each November, Lakota East and West students have the opportunity to take the test after school. Hannah and Weston’s AP Government teacher, Dr. Tisha Menchoffer-Grote works with the American Legion to coordinate the test and promote it to students each year. “I am very proud of Weston and Hannah. Both students are seriously civic-minded; they are going to be change-makers!”

She noted that both Hannah and Weston attended the American Legion Boys State and Girls State (Weston went on to Boys Nation in Washington, D.C.), and that they are also members of the Junior State of America Chapter at East (the group focuses on political discussion, debate and activism).

The American Legion test covered topics including the Constitution and Declaration of Independence as well as government at the federal, state, county, local and school levels. In addition to the multiple-choice questions on these topics, students were asked to write an essay about the right or freedom that they cherish most. Hannah and Weston received top scores, demonstrating a breadth of knowledge.

Weston became hooked on history from an early age – going back to when he was eight and he memorized the presidents on his placemat at the dinner table. He never envisioned that he would win this trip of a lifetime. “I’m just thankful to the American Legion for all of the opportunities they have given me through Boys State and Boys Nation, as well as through this contest.” Weston is looking ahead to college next year, majoring in political science and then going on to practice law.

Hannah’s career plans include medical school and being a doctor, but she also hopes to foster her love of politics and government by becoming involved with a political action group. She, too, is grateful for the opportunities she has been afforded by the American Legion, and for the preparation she received in Dr. Grote’s class.

“We are looking forward to hearing Hannah and Weston report back on their experiences in D.C. and Gettysburg,” said Nelson. “They have worked hard and deserve these awards. They are indicative of the caliber of students in the Lakota School District and the quality of education provided to them.” 

Pictured: Hannah Ackerman with Jerry Nelson of the American Legion (left) and Weston Lindner at American Legion's Boys Nation in Washington D.C. with two Lakota alumni.