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7th Annual Six Pillars Essay Contest

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We are pleased to announce The 7th Annual Six Pillars Essay Contest, sponsored by The United Way of Kent County. This contest is open to all students in Kent County, second through twelfth grades. Each essay must contain at least one of the Six Pillars of Character; Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Winners will be notified by March 21st and an Awards Program will be held at Washington College on April 13, 2016. Click here for the Essay Entry Forms and a list of suggested essay topics (which differ by grade level).

6th Annual Six-Pillar Essay Contest Winners Announced

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The 6th Annual Six-Pillar Essay Contest awards ceremony was held on April 14th, 2015 at Washington College. There to support the winning students were family members, teachers and school faculty, Character Coaches, United Way Board Members and KCPS Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch. 

Of the more than 1,400 essay submissions, 33 winners where chosen by a panel of judges and volunteers. Each essay was blindly read and critiqued by multiple independent judges in the selection process. Character Counts Kent County Chairman, Jim McColigan, congratulated the student winners on their achievement – praising them as the top 2 percent.

Several students braved the stage to deliver their essays to the audience. Quinn Lindsay of Rock Hall Elementary School shared a touching essay about his role model and brother. Chelsea Bender of Worton Elementary School brought smiles to the crowd as she read her rather convincing argumentative essay; she opened with the line “What do you think about me, Chelsea, a dog owner”. Chelsea proudly showed the audience a picture of her new dog at the conclusion of her reading. Destiny Frase of Kent County Middle School shared a heartwarming essay about her appreciation, respect and admiration for her mother. Cheyeanne Eggers of Kent County High School concluded the readings with an essay about taking responsibility. Cheyeanne proudly spoke to the audience about her journey towards accepting responsibility for herself, her actions and her successes.

Following the essay readings, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of each grade level took to the stage to accept their awards. Students were joined by teachers, character coaches and mentors on the stage to commemorate their achievement.

Special thanks were given to the United Way for sponsoring the contest, to Washington College for providing an awards venue and to the teachers, parents, school faculty and character coaches who supported the student writers. Character Coach, George Best, photographed the awards ceremony to view photos, click here.

Winners of the 2015 6th Annual Essay Contest are as follows:

Elementary School Winners
1st Prize $30, 2nd Prize $25, 3rd Prize $20

Grade 2
1st Quinn Lindsay (RHES, Teacher Jory Yerkie)
2nd Sydnee Carr (WES, Teacher Stefanie Zottarelli; Coaches Mary Price, Crystal Killen)
3rd Madi Raleigh (RHES, Teacher Kris Hickman; Coach Eugenia Auchincloss)

Grade 3
1st Maya Whyte (RHES, Teacher Lori Receski; Coach Suzanne Einstein)
2nd Jaci Manning (MES, Teacher Debbie Smith; Coach Shelly Holland)
3rd Emily Blusk (WES, Teacher JacquelynWalters; Coach Susan Joyner)

Grade 4
1st Noah Macielag (RHES Teacher David Jachimowicz)
2nd Brooklyn Usilton (RHES, Teacher David Jachimowicz)
3rd Chelsea Bender (WES Teacher Megan Smith; Coaches Michael Mench, Tony Reed)

Grade 5
1st Mackenzie Clark (WES, Teacher Laurie Hogans; Coach Lauren Kemp)
2nd Benjamin MacLeod (MES, Teacher Bill Reseski; Coach Linwood Lively)
3rd Zoe Termine (MES, Teacher Bill Reseski; Coach Linwood Lively)

Middle School Winners
1st Prize $100, 2nd Prize $75, 3rd Prize $50

Grade 6
1st Will Ashmore (KCMS, Teacher Laura Fratangelo; Coach Holly Langenfelder, Amy Lepter)
2nd Madilyn Conner (KCMS, Teacher Brooke Marvel; Coach Lisa Mazingo)
3rd Brandon Myers (KCMS, Teacher Brooke Marvel; Coach Lisa Mazingo)

Grade 7
1st Kacey Willis (KCMS, Teacher Barbara Stevenson)
2nd Isaiah Hockiss (KCMS, Teacher Laura Hoyer; Coach Madhu Sidhu)
3rd Mallory Helfenbein (KCMS, Teacher Laura Hoyer; Coach Madhu Sidhu)

Grade 8
1st Destiny Frase (KCMS, Teacher Melissa MacLeod; Coach Dawn Wright)
2nd Taylor Walters (KCMS, Teacher Samantha Ragghiant; Coach Thelma Ellwood)
3rd Kaylee Raimond (KCMS, Teacher Melissa MacLeod; Coach Dawn Wright)

High School Winners
1st Prize $125, 2nd Prize $75, 3rd Prize $50

Grade 9
1st Gbenga Taiwo (Kent County High School, Teacher Sara Ratajczak)
2nd Mei-An Blatchford (Kent County High School, Teacher Sara Ratajczak)
3rd Madison Walbeck (Kent County High School, Teacher Sara Ratajczak)

Grade 10
1st Cheyeanne Eggers (Kent County High School, Teacher Gillian Spero)
2nd Abby Clark (Chestertown Christian Academy, Teacher Amanda Smith)
3rd Boswana Elias (Kent County High School, Teacher Christine Fletcher)

Grade 11
1st Courtney Barney (Kent County High School, Teacher Melissa Walters)
2nd James Ciganek (Kent County High School, Teacher Christine Fletcher)
3rd Taliyah Russell (Kent County High School, Teacher Christine Fletcher

Grade 12
1st Alexa Jones (Kent County High School, Teacher Cynthia Phillips)
2nd Jake Jones (Kent County High School, Teacher Cynthia Phillips)
3rd Rachel Jones (Kent County High School, Teacher Cynthia Phillips)

Character Counts at Horizons

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Featured on MyEasternShoreMD.com: Character Counts coach Marie Simpkins teaches the Horizons summer campers a lesson on “How to Settle Your Differences Peacefully.” Simpkins wrote a play and used puppets to engage the students in the lesson. Once a week throughout Horizons’ six-week program at Radcliffe Creek School, Character Counts coaches taught character lessons to the campers.” (Learning that character counts, August 27, 2014).

2014 Essay Contest Winners Announced


essaycontestlogoOn April 9th at 5:00 pm, Character Counts! Kent County will present the winners of the 5th Annual Six-Pillar Essay Contest at the Decker Theatre, The Gibson Center for the Arts, Washington College.  The Six-Pillar Essay Contest is graciously sponsored by the United Way of Kent County. Awards night attendees will have the opportunity to hear selections of amazingly thoughtful essays from our 2014 winners.. The auditorium will be filled with our partners, our Kent County families and students and our Character Coaches on Wednesday night in support of participating students.

The 2014 winners were selected countywide from 1,358 participating students; with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards given at each grade level. To view this years winners, click here. The view this years winning essays, click here.