Westminster High School senior Michelle L. Smith recently won first place in the 44th annual Voice of Democracy contest sponsored by the VFW Post 467 and the Ladies Auxiliary.

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Smith of Westminster, Michelle won $100 for her speech about "Democracy -- The Vanguard of Freedom."

Other WHS winners were: senior April E. Taylor, first runner-up, daughter of Gary Taylor of Finksburg and Marcelene Taylor of Westminster, $50 award, and junior Laurie Rogers, daughter of Gary Rogers of Westminster, $50 award.

Each contestant wrote a speech aboutthe given topic, which was later recorded by WTTR General Manager Dwight Dingle. VFW member Paul Smith brought the tapes to the school, where they were judged.

Speech teacher John Holt was faculty coordinator for the contest. Other faculty judges were Shirley Davidson,media center secretary; William Robinette, instructional assistant; and Catherine Berry, English teacher.

"I thought the competition was good because it gave students a chance to get monetary awards for their writing and speaking skills," said Holt. "They all worked very hard and were extremely creative in their approaches to this year's theme."

District judging was completed by Dec. 15 and the winner's tapes sent to Greensboro in Caroline County for state judging on Jan. 6.

The winners of the state competition then will go to the national competition in Washington, D.C.

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