Ring Lardner students named contest winners

Published 10:53 am Saturday, February 3, 2007

By Staff
NILES – Three students from Ring Lardner Junior High School in Niles have been named local winners in the 38th Annual America &Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.
The three students, who earned the first, second and third place awards for their school, are Chris Noble, first, Haley Davis, second, and Shimen Tackett, third. As the school's first place winner, Chris's name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school.
Chris Noble's first-place essay now advances to the state level competition, from which the top ten essays in Michigan will be selected. The top ten statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will receive plaques, cash, and U.S. savings bonds valued from $500 to $1,000. In addition, the top ten essayists will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan's top governmental leaders, and be the featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor.
A team of finalist judges that includes a top Michigan Government official and the sponsoring teachers of last year's top two statewide winners will determine the ranking of the top ten statewide winners this year.
Several thousand eighth grade students from nearly 500 Michigan schools participated in the 2005-2006 America &Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the 2006-2007 contest was "My Personal Hero."
Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth grade students, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore their roles in America's future. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.