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June 4, 2007
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Announces Winners of
2006-2007 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest

Over 875 entries received from Maine Students Grades K through 12

Augusta -- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today the names of 4 students whose artwork and written essays rose to the top of a crowded field of submissions in the 2006-2007 edition of the Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest. “This year we saw some truly outstanding work in every age category,” said Dunlap. “All of the participants deserve to be recognized. If the students taking part in this contest are any indication, we can rest assured our future is in the good hands. Entrants proved they have a firm grasp of the importance of our state’s history, heritage, and governing law. Teachers are to be commended for including this exciting event directly into their curriculums. ”

The poster contest is divided into two age categories. Students from Kindergarten - Grade 3 were asked to craft a Maine Symbols poster, including familiar Maine icons such as the state bird and state flower. Third Grader Brittany Heizler from Guilford Primary School earned top honors in this category. The topic for students in Grades 4 and 5 was Maine History. The top prize went to Sydney Gunty, a Fifth Grader at General Bryant E. Moore School in Ellsworth.

The essay contest also features two age categories: Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12.  

This year’s winners are brother and sister: Jacqueline Canning of the Biddeford Middle School won the Grade 6-8 category on the topic of the Maine Constitution with her essay entitled “Maine- The Way Life Should Be”. Her brother, Joshua Canning of the Perkins School, authored “Importance of Voting and Democracy” to win the Grade 9-12 category.

A panel of distinguished judges, including a number of state legislators, assisted in the judging process. Each winner receives a $100 savings bond and an invitation to be the guest of Secretary Dunlap for a tour of the State Capitol. A highlight of the tour is a viewing of the Maine Constitution, a document permanently stored in a climate-controlled vault at the State Archives.