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Character Education Essay Contest Winners

November 20, 2002

Charleston, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Department of Education has announced the winners of its second statewide Character Education Essay Contest. Approximately 6,000 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: Describe the qualities you feel are necessary for a person to be a responsible citizen.  

"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 David Stewart said. "The schools, teachers, and students should be commended for the high level of writing."  

County level winners and state level winners were selected in grades 3 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.  

The following is a list of the statewide winners:  

Third Grade: Kristin Hatmaker, Riverside Elementary School, Mingo County Schools Fourth Grade: Elizabeth Ferguson, Wayne Elementary School, Wayne County Schools Fifth Grade: Nikki Kinder, Hamlin Elementary School, Lincoln County Schools Sixth Grade: Jessica Hinkle, Petersburg Elementary School, Grant County Schools Seventh Grade: Michael Fairless, Musselman Middle School, Berkeley County Schools Eighth Grade: Andrew Adkins, Guyan Valley High School, Lincoln County Schools Ninth Grade: Jordan Beckett, Wirt County High School, Wirt County Schools Tenth Grade: Zephanie Custer, Hedgesville High School, Berkeley County Schools Eleventh Grade: Nicole Rose, Pocahontas County High School, Pocahontas County Schools Twelfth Grade: Ashley Echard, Gilmer County High School, Gilmer County Schools  

To obtain the names of the winners on the county level, please contact your county superintendent's office.

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