EHS Student Wins National Constitution Center Writing Contest

EHS Student Wins National Constitution Center Writing Contest                                                                  Danny Coyle poses with "George Washington" and "James Madison"


The Whiskey Rebellion tested George Washington as president and the sovereignty of the Constitution. It was also the subject of an award-winning short story written by West Chester East High School senior Danny Coyle.

Coyle won first place in the National Constitution Center's 2017 Coalition of Freedom Short Story Contest for his submission, The American Experiment. The contest offered the opportunity for 11th-grade students from across Pennsylvania to write short stories exploring civic virtues embodied and demonstrated by the founding fathers during the drafting and ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

According to a statement from the National Constitution Center, Coyle's piece about the Whiskey Rebellion "was selected among submissions from students across the state for its insightful exploration of civic virtue and high quality of the writing." 

In addition to receiving a $10,000 prize, Danny's short story, along with other contest winners’ stories, was adapted and performed during a program at the National Constitution Center on July 17 by Historic Philadelphia’s Once Upon a Nation Storytellers.

Coyle, who is a part of East High School's gifted program, was prompted to enter the contest by his gifted resource teacher, Christine Bland. 

“I encourage my students to extend their learning, including participating in academic competitions. Danny is an academically talented student who is very interested in history, economics, and political science. He is also a strong writer. I encouraged him to enter the contest because I felt it aligned with his strengths and interests.”

Coyle is about to enter his senior year at East High School and plans on majoring in economics or finance in the future. 

“I was very intrigued by this contest because I love history and writing,” said Coyle. “I also took an online college course on the constitution this past year, so this contest really peaked my interest. I worked really hard researching my subject. I tried to pick a topic that was really unique - something that not a lot of people would have heard about or choose. I thought the Whiskey Rebellion was perfect because it was a true test of the new government's powers. Plus it happened here in Pennsylvania.”

Coyle, whose favorite president is Ronald Reagan, plans to invest his prize money.

The National Constitution Center received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to fund the awards for the winning submissions, which will be published as part of the We the People exhibition.  The stories will also be performed at Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches throughout Philadelphia's Historic District.

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