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Department of Education Announces Character Education Essay Contest Winners

November 14, 2001

The West Virginia Department of Education has announced the winners of its first statewide Character Education Essay Contest. Approximately 13,000 students across the state participated in the contest. As teachers strive to maintain and reach high student performance levels, they recognize the importance of communication through writing as early as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.  

Passed into law during the 2001 Regular Session, House Bill 2208 was the impetus for a recent statewide Character Education Essay Contest. The measure mandates character education be integrated into the public school curriculum. While it encompasses six issues, students were asked to write their thoughts on three topics: Responsibility, Trustworthiness, and Justice and Fairness.  

“Not only will character education teach students to have respect for others, but also will teach them to have respect for themselves,” State Schools Superintendent Dr. David Stewart said. “The schools, teachers and students should be commended for the high level of writing and for an excellent first time performance.”  

County level winners and state level winners were selected in grades three through 12 by a team of trained teachers. Essays were numbered and judged by grade level, thereby keeping anonymity during the contest. All judges commented on the outstanding quality of the essays.  

Sponsored by the Office of Student Services and Assessment, all teachers should be commended for their input in making the contest a success in all counties and around the state.  

County level winners will each receive a $100 savings bond and state level winners will each receive a palm computer.  

The following is a list of the statewide winners: Third Grade: Alex Clarkson, Kingwood Elementary School, Preston County Fourth Grade: Nathanial Summers, Widmeyer Elementary School, Morgan County Fifth Grade: Erica Manor, Mill Creek Intermediate School, Berkeley County Sixth Grade: Payden Kimble, Petersburg Elementary School, Grant County Seventh Grade: Cory Paul Meeker, Union Junior High School, Marshall County Eighth Grade: Brittany Oehlman, Jackson Junior High School, Wood County Ninth Grade: Shery Skeen, Ripley High School, Jackson County Tenth Grade: Laken Renick, North Marion High School, Marion County Eleventh Grade: Katie Wagner, Wheeling Park High School, Ohio County Twelfth Grade: Ashley Jenkins, Preston High School, Preston County.  

Editor’s Note: To obtain the names of the winners on the county level, please contact your county superintendent’s office.

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