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Marble Falls student, teacher in state VFW competition

Taylor Sue Mason

Taylor Sue Mason, an eighth-grader at Faith Academy of Marble Falls, earned first place in the VFW District 14 Patriot's Pen essay competition. Her essay advances to the state competition. VFW Post 10376 selected her essay as its first-place winner, which cleared the path to the district contest. Courtesy photo

Once again, Marble Falls VFW Post 10376 is demonstrating why it’s such as respected part of the community. This time, it’s not its membership that’s making a mark but a Faith Academy student and a Marble Falls Middle School teacher.

The Marble Falls post recently announced its local winners for several youth scholarship programs as well as outstanding teachers. Those winners advanced to the District 14 competition, where two of them — Taylor Sue Mason and Rachel Faehnle — earned the top awards to continue to the state level.

Mason, an eighth-grader at Faith Academy of Marble Falls, finished first in the District 14 Patriot’s Pen essay contest. This year’s theme was “What Makes America Great.” 

The essay is part of the national competition, which attracts more than 111,000 students in sixth through eighth grades. The essay contest “encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay expressing their views” based on the theme, according to the VFW website.

Marble Falls Middle School band director Rachel Faehnle is also advancing to the state level after being named Texas VFW District 14 Teacher of the Year (Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award) for the middle school level.

The award recognizes “exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students,” according the VFW website. The VFW recognizes teachers at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.

If Mason and/or Faehnle win at state, they’ll advance to the national competition.