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2009 Child of Appalachia Contest Winners Announced

The Foundation greatly appreciates the thoughts and hard work expressed by all students and teachers participating in the contest.

At the Foundation, we believe one of the most critical things we can do is encourage our region’s young people to believe in their ability to succeed; like Henry Ford said, “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Through the Child of Appalachia writing contest, FAO is working to prompt thoughts and conversation in classrooms across the region with positive messages to instill the mindsets and confidence necessary for success.

The Foundation expanded this year’s contest as a result of the generous partnership with American Electric Power, the Walmart Foundation and Edward Jones offices throughout the 32 county region of Appalachian Ohio.

  • AEP’s support enabled the expansion of this year’s Child of Appalachia® Contest, to include an inaugural 9th grade poetry component in honor of our 2009 Child of Appalachia honoree, Ora Eaton Anderson.
  • Support from the Walmart Foundation provided each teacher of a winning contestant eligiblity to receive a $500 grant to spend in his or her classroom on activities and items that enrich curriculum (a total of 192 grants).
  • Each winning student will receive a $50.00 student award as a result of support from Edward Jones office throughout the region.

Our 2009 Contest asked students to provide their thoughts and insight to the following prompt:

Describe how living in Appalachian Ohio inspires you.

The generous support of partners providede the opportunity for FAO to select a winner from every grade level, in EVERY county – making each of the thirty-two counties eligible to receive $3,000 in student and teacher awards towards educational opportunity, if they participated in the contest.

The Foundation also looks forward to a special Child of Appalachia Forum, hosted in conjunction with Appalachian Ohio Country’s 2009 Spotlight on Appalachia to be held in Jefferson County and featuring FAO’s winning 2009 Contest student and teachers.

A listing of winning students and their teachers is below, listed as follows: 

Student, Grade
Teacher, School

Adams County

Braxton  Gaffin, 9th Grade
Heather Ward, West Union High School
Athens County
Josephine Marchi, 4th Grade
Mackie Johnson, 5th Grade
Leigh Schwarzel, Morrison Elementary
Richard Hwang, 6th Grade
David House, East Elementary
Abigail Swintek, 7th Grade
Katie Ross, Alexander Middle School
Maile Orr,  8th Grade
John Barrington, Athens Middle School
Belmont County
Joey Neilson, 6th Grade
Sheryl Sonk, Union Local Middle School
Zackery Jones, 7th Grade
Elizabeth Diaz, Union Local Middle School
Gabby Moore, 8th Grade
Kelly Butler, Union Local Middle School
Brown County
Billy Raynovich, 8th Grade
Gail York, Rulh High School
Caty Fussnecker, 9th Grade
Ms. McNair, Georgetown Jr. Sr. High School
Carroll County
Carrie Meenan, 6th Grade
Patty VanHorn, Malvern Middle School
Clermont County
Jared Herron, 4th Grade
Carol Barger, Batavia Elementary
Campbell Haynes, 7th Grade
Mary Bradburn, Batavia Middle School
Columbiana County 
Kailey Workman, 7th Grade
Kelly Janofa, Salem Jr. High

Joseph Cervone, 8th Grade
Kelly Janofa, Salem Jr. High
Jamie Davis, 9th Grade
Mrs. Zirillo, Beaver Local High School
Coshocton County
Olivia Slusser, 4th Grade
Jacque McPherson, Ridgewood Middle School
Trudy Oswald, 5th Grade
Mrs. Slusser, Ridgewood Middle School
Trevor Foster, 6th Grade
Nancy Donaker, Conesville Elementary
Courtney Dunfee, 7th Grade
Mary Bell, River View Junior High
Daniel Thomas, 8th Grade

Mary Bell, River View Junior High
Gallia County
Julianna Yates, 4th Grade
Linda Vollborn, Washington Elementary
Madison Oiler, 5th Grade
Beth Covey, Rio Grande Elementary
Carlie Winters, 6th Grade

Minda Walker, Southwestern
Molly Markley, 7th Grade
Beth Covey, Gallia Academy Middle School
Katelynn Henry, 8th Grade
Mary Deel, River Valley Middle School
Abraham Blain, 9th Grade
Mrs. Spencer, Gallia Academy High School
Guernsey County
Matthew Stemmer, 6th Grade
Vicky Veselenak, Meadowbrook Middle
Justice Cunningham, 7th Grade
Jean Claugus, Cambridge Middle School
Kyle Wright, 8th Grade
Kelly Singleton, Meadowbrook Middle School
Miranda Miser, 9th Grade
Mrs. Wesson, Meadowbrook High School
Harrison County
Jalyn Jones, 5th Grade
Sue Scarfpin, Harrison Lakeland Elementary
Highland County 
Maria Onusko, 5th Grade
Barbara Cook, Greenfield Middle School

Tommy Henry, 6th Grade
Rhonda Simpson, Greenfield Middle School
Rachel Onusko, 7th Grade
Barbara Cook, Greenfield Middle School
Grace Orr, 8th Grade
Barbara Cook, Greenfield Middle School
Hocking County
Nicole Wilcox, 6th Grade
Barb Johnston, Logan Hocking Middle School
Adam Jewett, 7th Grade
Kellie Hayden, Logan Hocking Middle School
Rachel Riggs, 8th Grade

Kellie Hayden, Logan Hocking Middle School
Holmes County

Natasha Latouf, 5th Grade
Pat Sage, Millersburg Elementary
Jackson County 
Madison Richards, 4th Grade
C. Smith, Westview Elementary
William Spires, 5th Grade
Mrs. Ruggles, Northview Elementary

Kennedy Riegel, 6th Grade
Judy Hall, Jackson Middle School
Samantha Humphreys, 7th Grade
Tonya Wilt, Jackson Middle School
Jefferson County
Jared Pflugh, 4th Grade
Heather Long, Buckeye Northwest Elementary
Allexis Spencer, 5th Grade
Mr. Rinkes, Buckeye Northwest Elementary
Alex Bandyk, 8th Grade
Kimberly Kerns, Buckeye Local Southwest Middle
Lawrence County
Ashton Hieronimus, 4th Grade
Lori Deer, Dawson-Bryant Elementary
Dylan Herrmann-Holt, 5th Grade
Julie Sturgill, Ironton Elementary
Paige Looney, 6th Grade
Kara Speed, Fairland Middle School
Sean Paulus, 7th Grade
Carrie Hollard, Dawson-Bryant Middle School
Hunter Schenewark, 8th Grade
Kara Speed, Fairland Middle School
Meigs County
Spencer Harrison, 4th Grade
Adrienne Kohli, Southern Elementary
Monroe County
Ryan Wells, 7th Grade
Jane Moore, Beallsville High School
Eric Ward, 8th Grade
Autumn Parden, Woodsfield Elementary
Morgan County 
Danyon Winebrenner, 4th Grade
Cassie Murphy, Morgan South Elementary

Cody Boone, 5th Grade
Mrs. Clemens, Morgan West
Rhys Ramirez, 6th Grade
Morgan West Elementary

Morgan Fleming, 8th Grade
Mrs. Zumbro, Morgan Junior High
Abby Burgett, 9th Grade
Susan Pratt, Morgan High School
Muskingum County 
Alyssa Prince, 4th Grade
Ashley Lighthizer, Dresden Elementary
Joseph Earwood, 5th Grade
Jennifer Swanson, Roseville Middle School 
Madison Paul, 6th Grade
Gail Calcasola, West Muskingum Middle School
Samantha Geddes, 7th Grade
Kim Spillman, East Muskingum Middle School
Reagan Tyner,  8th Grade
Gail Calcasola, West Muskingum Middle School
Nathan Cole, 9th Grade
Cynthia Rucker, Maysville High School
Perry County 

Stephanie Sweazy, 5th Grade
Nina Stoltz, Thornville Elementary

Christopher Davis, 7th Grade
Mollie Earich, Franklin Local Community School
Chase Factor, 8th Grade
Mollie Earich, Franklin Local Community School
Mariah McInerney, 9th Grade
Mollie Earich, Franklin Local Community School
Pike County
Chase Fite, 8th Grade
Ms. Day, Western High School
Ross County
Karlee McGraw, 4th Grade
Nancy Ames, Bishop Flaget
Logan Shope, 5th Grade
Kim Ginther, Huntington Elementary
Rachel Barlage, 6th Grade
Nancy Ames, Bishop Flaget
Andrea Alcorn, 7th Grade
Nancy Ames, Bishop Flaget
Jacob Hirsch, 8th Grade
Nancy Ames, Bishop Flaget
Morgan Frederick, 9th Grade
Sharon Patrick, Chillicothe High School
Scioto County
Tori Long, 4th Grade
Kimberly Bentley, Wheelersburg Middle School
Andrew Turner, 5th Grade
B. Campbell, East Portsmouth Elementary
Emma Edwards, 6th Grade
Kris Newman, Portsmouth Elementary
Molly Fannin, 7th Grade
Shane Rhea, Portsmouth Junior High School
Madison Lewis, 8th Grade
Christina Ballard, Valley Middle School
Tuscarawas County
Bailee Boyd, 5th Grade
Carisa Pryor, East Elementary
Noah Vogel, 6th Grade
Sherri Vogel
Nate Bourne, 7th Grade
Nichole Wright, Newcomerstown Middle School
Maddy Butler, 9th Grade
Amy Rossi, Claymont High School
Vinton County
Madyson Newsome, 4th Grade
Florence Rupert, Central Elementary
Anna Price, 5th Grade
Jo Adkins, Vinton County South Elementary
Rachel Griffith, 6th Grade
Miss Toon, Vinton County Middle School
Carey LeMay, 7th Grade
Mrs. Hale, Vinton County Middle School
Allie Arms, 8th Grade
Bette Foster, Vinton County Middle School
Kendra Gambill, 9th Grade
Jenny Wolford, Vinton County High School
Washington County
Grant Gandor, 7th Grade
Connie Frazier, Marietta Middle School

Grace Haas, 8th Grade
Connie Frazier, Marietta Middle School


The Foundation expresses sincere thanks to major contest sponsors AEP Ohio, Walmart and Edward Jones offices throughout the region, including those below.  

FAO also extends its great appreciation to the following supporters, who in addition to AEP Ohio, Walmart and Edward Jones, enabled the 2009 Child of Appalachia Writing Contest:

Central Ohio Technical College

 Kent State University – Tuscarawas branch

Muskingum University

Ohio University

Shawnee State University

Washington State Community College

Zane State University

Matt Elli & Dawnell Graham; Greg & Eileen Adams; the Lawrence County Economic Development Office; Congressman Zack Space; Congressman Charlie Wilson; and the International Association of Administrative Professionals. 


American Electric Power Ohio




Edward Jones

Scott Barr, Zanesville;

Shawn Bower, Chillicothe;

Teresa Cowden, New Concord;

Jeff Cox, Newark;

Jason Daly, Thornville;

Jonathan Davis, Chillicothe;

Matthew Edler, Chillicothe;

Ron Endicott, Waverly;

David Furbee, Jackson;

Frank Giovannelli, New Albany;

James Hooks;

John Kelley, Lancaster;

Ed Lowry, Heath;

Channing McAllister, Athens;

Pete Mikula, Cambridge;

Charles Pockras;

Gary Seitz, Chillicothe;

Doug Stutz, Newark;

Judith Webb; and

Cory Wingett, Steubenville.