Post Middle School students win essay contests
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:38 PM
ARLINGTON A pair of Post Middle School students have received acclaim on the city, county and statewide levels for their writing skills.
Max Bryson, a 12-year-old seventh-grader won first place for the city of Arlington, and second place for Snohomish County, for his entry in this years Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriots Pen essay contest, while fellow 12-year-old seventh-grader Amanda Griffith won third place for the state of Washington for her entry in this years Association of Washington Generals essay contest.
While Bryson was tasked with addressing the topic of Citizenship in America, Griffiths project asked, How can we improve K-12 education in Washington state? Bryson was required to complete his essay for Denise Jacksons class, and became her sixth contest winner in three years, while Griffiths teacher, Sherry Anderson, noted that Griffith did not want to do the assignment, so I found it ironic that she won. I am hoping this will inspire her academically.
Brysons essay asserted that our freedom isnt free, and used Sir Isaac Newtons quote about standing on the shoulders of giants as an analogy for modern-day Americans whose current freedoms he credited to the sacrifices of their nations forefathers. He further contended that voting is not only a right and a responsibility of adult American citizens, but also a way to protect what our forefathers protected, since we vote to keep this country alive.
As for Griffith, her essay suggested that high school schedules should be shifted to more of a year-round model, with breaks of two weeks each distributed evenly throughout the year, to break up the extended stretch of summer vacation and cut down on the amount of time needed to refresh students memories about material that theyve already studied. She likewise believes that implementing a zero period, to extend the school day, would create more time for band practice and physical education, in addition to allowing students to acquire credits faster.
By the time you get to your senior year, you could do half-days, either in the morning or in the afternoon, since youd only be taking the classes you needed by then, said Griffith, who also touted the half-days as giving seniors more time to hold down jobs and prepare for college. Her essay went on to advise that single-gender classrooms could refocus students attention on their studies, rather than on the social thing.
Anderson praised Griffith for her work, but also complimented fellow teacher Jackson as an unsung hero, for the number of her students who have won such essay contests in recent years, going so far as to claim that I upheld the tradition with a third-place winning student, but only because she is my mentor and I follow her program.