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St. Mary’s School of Piscataway students have been named state winners of the American History Essay awards held by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Nathan Thomas, a fifth-grader, and his sister, Lauren Thomas, a seventh-grader, were named state winners and will be guests of the Washington, D.C., Daughters of the American Revolution at the group’s 111th state conference luncheon.

The students will receive a state certificate and silver medal for excellence in history.

Both of the students’ essays are now with the other state winning essays from St. Frances Xavier and St. Luke School in McLean, Va., and have been entered in the eastern regional division contest.

The student essays will be in competition with other winning essays by grade from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution sponsors an American history essay contest in each state, each year, all over the country open to schoolchildren in grades 5 through 8.

The 2011-12 topic was “Young America Takes a Stand: The War of 1812.”

The students were asked to read through suggested reference materials and use their writing skills to create a story around the topic.

They were asked to pretend they were alive during the War of 1812 and had a friend who has become famous in history because they stood up for America during that dangerous time.

The essays were to describe the person and how he or she stood up for America.

The student needed to explain why it is important to honor heroes when the states prepare to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

The essays were judged and one winning essay from each grade was passed on to the next stage.

The winners were surprised Jan. 20 during the school’s annual awards ceremony.

This is the sixth year that St. Mary’s has participated in the NSDAR essay contest. The NSDAR /D.C.DAR representatives for the Dolley Madison chapter sponsored St. Mary’s in the essay contest.

Winners at the school level included eighth-grader Alexandra Feggins, left, sixth-grader Noah Robinson, fifth-grader Nathan Thomas and seventh-grader Lauren Thomas.