Skip Menu
Email Us!

Craft Academy student wins Secretary of State essay contest

A Craft Academy student was among four Kentucky high school students to win the 29th Annual Secretary of State's Essay Contest.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recognized the four students at a ceremony at Rupp Arena during the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament.

Among the winners was Craft Academy's Victoria Kelly Brunson of Somerset. Other winners were:

  • 9th Grade, Nevaeh Hope Dearmond, Logan County High School, Russellville
  • 10th Grade, Chloe Morgan Watkins, Logan County High School, Russellville
  • 11th Grade, Anna Frances Baskin, Henry Clay High School, Lexington.
Essay contest winners

“Just yesterday, I stood hand in hand with students as they let their voices be heard about gun violence and safety in schools. Everywhere you turn, young people are driving engagement in their schools, their communities and in Kentucky," said Grimes. "These four young women are incredible representatives of all the young people who are getting up, getting out and getting loud right now. I know Kentucky's future is very bright."

Created in 1988, the Secretary of State's essay contest serves to inspire students to be active and informed citizens, with particular emphasis on election-related issues. High school students are invited to write essays regarding the First Amendment and elections. Entries were judged on research and understanding of voting and the First Amendment, idea development, organization, language and correctness. The University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center judges the anonymous contest entries.

Each winner received a $1,000 cash scholarship made possible by the Office of Secretary of State and its partners, KEA and KEA Retired, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and the Kentucky Department of Education.

For more information about the annual contest, visit

Additional information on the Craft Academy is available at 606-783-2093 or visit

Pictured above, from left, are: Victoria Kelly Brunson, Anna Frances Baskin, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Chloe Morgan Watkins and Nevaeh Hope Dearmond.