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Essay contest awards region’s young writers

Foundation’s essay contest winners recognized

(January 22, 2009) Nelsonville, Ohio – The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has announced the winners of their 3rd 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 them appreciate the people, beauty and benefits of living in the region. This year, students were asked to think about the people who have been positive influences in their lives and write about how they hope to have a similar impact on others. The Foundation received an overwhelming response from over 2,600 students across the region, nearly tripling the number of entries from 2007.

One winner and several honorable mentions were selected for each grade level. The top winner for each grade level receives a $100 U.S. savings bond and their teacher receives a $500 grant for curriculum enrichment to benefit their classroom and school.

This year, all classrooms participating in the contest where entered to win a free field trip to the John and Annie Glenn Historic Site and Exploration Center in New Concord, Ohio. The 7th grade English class of Mrs. Adams from Huntington Middle School in Ross County is this year’s winning classroom.

Top winners of this year’s contest are:

4th Grade: Adam Daugherty, Keene Elementary, Coshocton County
5th Grade: Abigail Siders, Southview Elementary, Jackson County
6th Grade: Matt McComas, Fairland Middle School, Lawrence County
7th Grade: Gabrielle Moore, Union Local Middle School, Belmont County
8th Grade: Zach Maenz, Salem Junior High School, Columbiana County

The contest is part of the Foundation’s broader I’m a Child of Appalachia program, which works to help our region overcome barriers to educational opportunities and sow the seeds of our region’s success through grantmaking initiatives and activities to increase the college attendance rate of young people throughout Appalachian Ohio. Learn more about the annual program.

Winners and their families attended the Foundation’s 2008 I’m a Child of Appalachia Celebration for special recognition on Saturday, November 15th at the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Center, current home of Gov. Ted Strickland and First Lady of Ohio Frances Strickland, the Foundation’s 2008 Child of Appalachia honorees.  

The Foundation expresses sincere thanks to the following 2008 sponsors whose generous support enabled the essay contest: Edward Jones – Athens, Newark and Lancaster; AEP Ohio; Muskingum College; The Longaberger Foundation; and The John and Annie Glenn Historic Site and Exploration Center.

View essays, photos and more.

2008 finalists, honorable mentions and their home counties (in no particular order):

4th grade – Finalists: David Esselburn, Coshocton County; Paul Sylvester Hill, Ross County; Nate Marcum, Scioto County; Veronica Thompson, Ross County.

4th Grade – Honorable Mentions
: Dalton Cowgill, Noble County; Dominick Holding, Scioto County; Carly McCloy, Ross County;  Leah Shephard, Scioto County; Allison Ward, Lawrence County.

5th Grade – Finalists: Pooja  Dayal, Gallia County; Tori Hatfield, Scioto County; Whitney Jenkins, Scioto County; Von Wooding, Belmont County.

5th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Hope Anderson, Ross County; Taylor Helterbrand, Highland County; Anniedale Johns, Tuscarawas County; Jeffrey Mathews, Ross County; Isabelle Smith, Tuscarawas County; Molly Pierce, Jackson County.

6th Grade – Finalists: Alexis Burris, Guernsey County; Emily Conzett, Lawrence County; D. J.  Madison, Hocking County; Lexi Petrie, Lawrence County.

6th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Mallory Jenkins, Highland County; Robert Johnen, Belmont County; Mia Lambert, Muskingum County; Ellen Hinshaw, Lawrence County.

7th Grade – Finalists: Alicia Hopkins, Ross County; Savannah Nelson, Lawrence County; Wade Nelson, Guernsey County; Hunter Schenewark, Lawrence County.

7th Grade – Honorable Mentions
: Rebecca Grunder, Carroll County; Samantha McKim, Guernsey County; Hannah Pagano, Belmont County; Austin Scarberry, Hocking County; Jonna Shimko, Athens County.

8th Grade – Finalists: Addison Coldren, Gallia County; Ashley Thompkins, Morgan County; Julia Wu, Lawrence County; McKenzie Woodburn, Morgan County.

8th Grade – Honorable Mentions: Dustin Duffy, Morgan County; Andrew Gregory, Logan County; Kodi Hesson, Guernsey County; Kevin Hwang, Athens County; Kris Zimmerman, Ross County.