Gadsden County student wins local essay contest, advances to state contest

The winners of the Gadsden County Retired Educators’ essay contest was recently announced at the Gadsden County School District Office on the evening of Wednesday, April 14.

The winning students, their teachers, parents, and school staff gathered in the halls of the Max D. Walker School Administration Building as Superintendent Elijah Key, Area Director of Academics Tammy McGriff-Farlin, and members of the Gadsden County Retired Educators Association announced Maegan Powell as the 2020-2021 – First Place District Winner of the Annual Fifth Grade Essay contest.

Powell is a fifth grade student from Gadsden Elementary Magnet School, and she received the highest certificate of honor, a cash prize, and a blue ribbon for her captivating essay.

LaTasha Dilworth-Porter, her teacher, received a gift certificate to purchase classroom supplies for her students.

Gadsden County’s Maegan Powell (right) stands with Superintendent of Schools Elijah Key (left) as Powell is handed her certificate announcing her as the first-place winner of the retired educators association’s essay contest. Powell will now advance to compete statewide with other Florida fifth graders.

Maegan Powell’s winning essay, titled “A Happy Memory”, will allow her to compete at the state level among many other Florida fifth grade students. 

“Creativity and encouraging fifth grade students to express a special time in their life and explore special moments in a 500 word essay, excluding using the words “a, and, or, the” was created at the state level to encourage the writing skills and abilities in all fifth grade students,” said Gadsden County Retired Educators Association President Sam Love.

“Gadsden County Retired Educators Association believes this is a wonderful way for students to show their appreciation and love for those important older people in their lives, be they grandparents or someone close who enhances their life on a daily basis. It also gives them an opportunity to express their broad imagination and sincere thoughts through descriptive writing,” said Patricia Taylor, who served on the association’s Essay Committee Chair.

Taylor added that this essay contest is one of the association’s favorite projects throughout the year, as the association members enjoy reading the essays that range between humorous and heartfelt pieces.

Taylor encouraged the audience of educators to have students share their essays with other students.

The district winners for this contest are:

Jarvis March: Second place winner. A student at Chattahoochee Elementary, Mellany Wiggins’ class, with the essay titled: “My Best Experience with Granddad”

Marquavious Williams: Third place winner. A student at West Gadsden Middle School, Cynthia Bryant’s class, with the essay titled: “The Most Magnificent Fun I Ever Had With My Grandmother”

Teiyauni Sutton: Honorable mention. A student at Havana Magnet School, Ms. Pringle’s class, with the essay titled: “Turn Up, Turn Down, With My Grandmother That Goes All around Town”

All of the district winners received a certificate of honor, a cash prize, and a blue ribbon.

School-Level Second Place Winners

Cevian Akins: A student at Havana Magnet School, in Ms. Washington’s class, with an essay titled: “Special Times I Spent with My Grandparents”

Alycia Pollock: A Chattahoochee Elementary School, in Mellany Wiggins’ class, with an essay titled: “My Lovely Grandparents” 

Karly Phillips: A student at West Gadsden Middle School, in Cynthia Bryant’s class, with an essay titled: “Visiting My Grandmother”

School-Level Third Place Winners 

Isabella Felia: A student at Havana Magnet School, in Ms. Pringle’s class, with an essay titled: “Special Times I Spent with My Grandparents”

Alejandra Martinez: A student at Gadsden Elementary Magnet School, in LaTasha Dilworth Porter’s class, with an essay titled: “A Memory of My Grandfather and Me”

All participating fifth grade students received certificates of honor for their essays which exemplified their hard work and vivid imaginations.

In addition, fifth grade teachers of the district winners were given gift certificates to purchase supplies for their classrooms.

Superintendent Key expressed his appreciation of how proud he was of the hard work from the students, parents, and their teachers; Key also thanked the retired educators for the other sponsored partnership projects in the district and further encouraged all participants in the audience to spread the word about this contest.

Superintendent Key asked everyone to continue encouraging Gadsden County students to enjoy learning how to tell a story about a loved one.

Then, the superintendent concluded by saying, “Who knows? We might be looking at our next best-selling authors!”

Photos and article Special to The Herald
Gadsden County Retired Educators


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