Keizer goes to national civics bee 

Middle school Keizerite Thomas Morgan (left) shown
holding his $1,000 winning check for placing first in
the Oregon Civics Bee. Submitted photo

Keizerite Thomas Morgan won the inaugural Oregon Civics Bee on Thursday, May 30, at Hudson Hall at Willamette University. 

Morgan was one of 19 finalists who participated in the bee, which was moderated by Oregon treasurer Tobias Read and will go on to represent Oregon in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s National Civics Bee held in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Nov. 12. 

Other student finalists from the area include: Dylan Guptill of Keizer, Milah Moore of Salem as well as Zackery Wells from Gervais. 

The top three finishers in the inaugural Oregon Civics Bee received cash prizes with first prize receiving $1,000, second receiving $750 and third place winning $500. 

In its second year, the competition is composed of sixth, 7th and 8th graders throughout Oregon who were invited to submit essays explaining how they’d use civics principles to address problems they identified in their communities. 

The event is being held due to the organizing partners’ belief that informed and active citizens make for a strong country, a strong economy and a strong workforce. 

A panel read through the hundreds of entries and chose the 20 best essays who were then invited to participate in the competition. 

The civics bee consisted of a quiz-style competition moderated by Read. 

The top five scorers made the case for their essays in front of a panel of judges, which included Oregon Business and Industry (OBI) president and CEO Angela Wilhelms, U.S. Bank Senior vice president of commercial banking Steve Isaak and CFM advocates senior vice president of government affairs Jessica Adamson. 

In his winning essay, Thomas made the case for public funding for Keizer’s community library. 

Grace Kim of Eugene was the runner-up, and Shivani Nirmal- Shankar of Sherwood finished third. 

According to Wilhelms, “My fellow judges and I congratulate Morgan for his thoughtful essay and performance today and we believe he will represent Oregon well in Washington, D.C.” 

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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