George Washington may be long gone, but his spirit came alive Sunday at an awards ceremony in Barrington.
Members of the Signal Hill Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution met at the Barrington Area Library to recognize the accomplishments of several students and teachers.
Regent Linda Wichman presided, and 75 people attended including family members, friends and teachers from various schools. Nancy Nemec, president of the Barrington Unit District 220 school board, was also present.
"We are so proud of our students and staff," Nemec said. "It's wonderful when they are recognized outside of their schools."
The first honorees were those students in fifth through eighth grades who won this year's American History Essay Contest sponsored by the Signal Hill Chapter. The topic was "An Obituary for George Washington - 1732-1799."
Each student read his or her winning essay and then received a certificate, a bronze medal and a 1999 White House Historical Society ornament. In addition, a commemorative plaque engraved with each student's name was given to the schools.
The students who won were: Shilpy Singh, fifth-grader at Countryside Elementary; Larisa Inka, sixth-grader at Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus; Erik Alarik, seventh-grader at Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus; Katie McKillen (co- winner), eighth-grader at Barrington Middle School-Station Campus and Karin Lee (co-winner), eighth-grader at Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus.
Don Thompson, principal of Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus, accepted the commemorative plaque for his school and said, "We are very pleased to have three winners from our school. We place a great deal of emphasis on American history studies. …