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News & Happenings

Annual Essay Contest Winners Announced

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has announced the winners of their 2nd annual I’m a Child of Appalachia® Essay Contest open to all 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in the 29 counties of Appalachian Ohio.

The contest asks students to think about what it means to grow up in Appalachian Ohio and is intended to help middle school students appreciate the people, beauty and benefits of living in Appalachia. More than 900 entries were received from all 29 of the region’s counties. Muskingum College will print a booklet containing the top 40 essays as chosen by the competition’s judges.

One winner and several honorable mentions were selected for each grade level. The top winners are:

4th Grade: Benjamin Beaty, Fairland West Elementary, Lawrence County
5th Grade: Amy Hill Smith, Westview Elementary, Jackson County
6th Grade: Seth Hardman, Union Local Middle School, Belmont County
7th Grade: Emily Swackhamer, Miller Middle School, Perry County
8th Grade: Anne Li, Athens Middle School, Athens County

The contest is part of the Foundation’s broader I’m a Child of Appalachia program, which supports increased access to education in Appalachian Ohio through grants, scholarships and other regional programs. The campaign also works to create high expectation for students through a public outreach campaign consisting of billboards, posters, ads, public service announcements and an online home,

Top winners and their families and teachers attended the Foundation’s 2007 I’m a Child of Appalachia Celebration for special recognition on Saturday, October 27 at the Zanesville Country Club.

2007 finalists, honorable mentions and their home counties (in no particular order):

4th grade – Finalists: Rachel Barlage, Ross County; Kelsie Byers, Ross County; Peter Manchester, Ross County; Tyler McCune, Tuscarawas County; Mary Weisenberger, Ross County

4th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Kate Dispenza, Athens County; David Gentil, Perry County; Miranda Minor, Athens County; Danny Pagan, Athens County; Megan Sessor, Scioto County

5th Grade – Finalists: Mackenzie Craycraft, Scioto County; Gia deBourbon, Athens County; Anna Marie DeGarmo, Ross County; Landen Jenkins, Ross County; Kade Mayle, Morgan County

5th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Olivia Hoon, Athens County; Julia LaComb, Athens County; Taylor Ramsey, Scioto County; Katie Rose Pittman, Athens County; David Stryffeler, Columbiana County

6th Grade – Finalists: Trevor Hennis, Jefferson County; Tony Juzwiak, Belmont County; Hannah Pagano, Belmont County; Mary VanNostrand, Lawrence County
6th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Steven Dayton, Lawrence County;
Samantha Goings, Muskingum County; Stacey Lapurga, Ross County; Jordan Large, Clermont County; Sora Yu, Belmont County

7th Grade – Finalists: Dalton Bettendorf, Ross County; Emilie Kemper, Ross County; Mikayla Kovacik, Harrison County; Julia Wu, Lawrence County

7th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Faith Berry, Muskingum County; Kayla Carey, Ross County; Claire Hinshaw, Lawrence County; Halie Sparks, Lawrence County; Jeremiah Wood, Harrison County

8th Grade – Finalists: Sarah Beth Sydnor, Gallia County; Jessie Kirk, Athens County; Joseph LeMasters, Jefferson County; Alyssa Oates, Ross County

8th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Patricia Coen, Tuscarawas County; Kendra Lee, Athens County; Savanah McElroy, Harrison County; Sam Meade, Ross County; Kristen Powell, Athens County
Learn more about the annual I’m a Child of Appalachia Essay Contest