Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz will be presenting the 2009 Democracy Awards to seven Vermont citizens and organizations at the Vermont Statehouse on Thursday, February 12, at 3:30 pm.“These awards honor people who have promoted the tenets of democracy in Vermont. Each of this year’s recipients is a shining example of leadership in the democratic process,” says Markowitz.The National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award will be presented to Kristie Bush, teacher at Montpelier’s Union Elementary School; Don Collins, former Franklin County state senator and educator; and WPTZ Television Newschannel 5.Receiving the Vermont Secretary of State’s Enduring Democracy Award are Dennis Bonanza, a teacher at the Community High School of Vermont; Bill Hoar, Barnet Town Clerk and Treasurer; Toni Little, Resident Advisor at Johnson State College; and Ashley Wheeler, Miss Vermont 2008. The Medallion Award was established by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 2001 to honor individuals, groups, or organizations with a record of promoting the goals of NASS in one or more of the following areas: improving elections, with special emphasis on voter education and increasing voter participation; civic education, including the teaching, promotion, and study of this subject; and service to state government–specifically, as it relates to improving democracy in the state. The Vermont Secretary of State Enduring Democracy Award honors individuals and organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to promoting democracy in the Vermont. Please visit our website at http://www.sec.state.vt.us/Democracy_Awards.html(link is external) for more information.