Optimists Name Essay Contest Winner

Lynn Nygen, a student at Oakton High School in Vienna, recently placed first in the Optimist Club's district essay competition. Essays from 527 students in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia were considered. The title for the essay, chosen by the Optimist Club, was "Freedom: Our Most Precious Heritage." Nygen, who was sponsored by the Vienna Optimist Club, will now go on to the Optimist's international competition. Counselor of the Year Named

Maureen Schneider, senior counselor at the Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Services (CATS) program in Falls Church, has been named counselor of the year by the Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. CATS is an affiliate of Fairfax Hospital Association.

Substance abuse counselors from throughout the state were nominated for the honor. Schneider was cited for her work in developing a program to prevent patient from relapsing into past behavior, and for coordinating patient and staff educational programs.

Schneider lives in Springfield. Koons to Head Building Drive

Joseph R. Koons has been named chairman of a $1 million building campaign for the American Heart Association in Northern Virginia.

"I am pleased to be able to help the American Heart Association build a much-needed permanent home in our community," said Koons.

The campaign funds will be used to construct a 6,500-square-foot building in Annandale that will serve as a regional headquarters for the American Heart Association. The building's meeting facilities will also be made available to other community organizations.

In Northern Virginia the American Heart Association has more than 15,000 active volunteers, and sponsors programs ranging from heart health education for preschoolers to cardiac rehabilitation programs. Junior Physics Prize Awarded

Laura Peterson of Vienna received the Outstanding Junior Physics Major Award from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. She is the daughter of Phyllis and Burt Peterson of Vienna.