Johnston's talk included her ideas on "preserving the things our American forefathers placed value in."
"Americans are bold, bright, determined citizens," she said to an audience of DAR members, parents and school administrators.
Each year the faculty members of the four Putnam County schools selects one member of the senior class to represent that school in the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen county competition.
"Winning this feels really good," said Johnston. "I was standing there listening to everyone's essay and thinking there was no way they would pick me," she smiled.
Her father Thomas attended the reception and beamed proudly.
"This was the first time I heard her read her essay. I was just amazed listening to it," he said.
Students are selected for having a variety of interests, positive contributions to home, church and community, qualities such a dependability, honesty, leadership, cooperation, self-control and initiative.
Judges also consider patriotism defined as unselfish loyalty to American ideals. Each student writes an essay without references on "Our American Heritage" and our responsibility to preserve it.
"It is a great honor for the students to be selected," said DAR member Jinsie Bingham.
Students representing county schools in addition to Johnston are Greencastle High School senior Kullan Edberg, daughter of Allison and Eric Edberg, Greencastle; South Putnam High School senior Tyler Heavin, son of Melinda Heavin, Coatesville; and Cloverdale High School senior Jenna Lewis, daughter of Katrina and Todd Lewis, Cloverdale.
Members of the Washburn Chapter NSDAR in Putnam County recognized all four students at a reception Tuesday afternoon held at the Putnam County Museum, Greencastle.