Local VFW presents awards to EHS student, staff

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, March 23, 2021

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An Elizabethton High School student and two staff members were recently recognized by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2166 for their achievements.

EHS student Kaylee Beam was presented the Voice of Democracy Award for her work on a paper that she wrote for a local competition. As a result of winning, Beam will be eligible now to compete for both state and national competitions through the VFW.

“Mr. (Craig) Emmert helped me with the paper,” Beam said on how she started the project as part of Emmert’s Pop Culture class at EHS. “I also had to make a recording to submit as well.

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“I was given the certificate for winning at the local level but I believe at the state and national level there could be cash prizes awarded.”

The school’s SRO Officer Josh Baggett was also recognized by Post Commander Andy Wetzel as the Officer of the Year.

Baggett was recognized for delivering a baby at a local resident’s home after being dispatched on a call for assistance.

“I guess where I had training as an EMT that just kicked in and I did what I needed to do to help out,” said Officer Baggett on receiving the award. “It is something that I would do again without hesitation.”

Officer Baggett said that he hasn’t had the opportunity to check on the mother and baby but that is something that he would really like to do.

The third recipient to be recognized was teacher Ryan Presnell, who was presented the National Citizenship Education Teacher Recognition Award.

Presnell, who is an Elizabethton alumnus and a veteran who served in the United States Marines, will be eligible to move on for state competition as well.

“We are proud of Kaylee as well as Officer Baggett and Mr. Presnell for being recognized by the VFW and receiving these awards,” said Elizabethton High School Principal Dr. Jon Minton.

Each award winner was presented with a certificate by Wetzel and other members of the VFW post as well as Elizabethton Police Chief Jason Shaw, Principal Minton, and Mr. Emmert.