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May 28, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Announces Winners of 2008 Maine Constitution Poster and Essay Contest

winning artwork and essays available on-line

Augusta- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today the names of this year’s winners in the Maine Constitution Poster and Essay Contest. Open to Maine students from grades K through 12, hundreds of submissions were received in what Dunlap referred to as “the best year yet for this contest. I’m excited to share these students’ fine efforts with everyone via the internet. The winners’ efforts rose to the top from a crowded field of entries and highlight the fact each of the aspiring authors and artists who participate have a keen understanding of the subject matter the essays and posters convey,” Dunlap said.

The poster contest, open to students from Kindergarten to Grade 5, is broken into two age categories. For grades K-3 “Maine State Symbols” are the focus, and third grader A.J. Foss of the Solon Elementary School in Solon took top honors. For students in Grades 4 and 5 the topic is “Maine History”. Fourth grader Emily Jacques of Auburn, a student at Trinity Catholic School in Lewiston, won first place for her poster depicting Bigelow Mountain.
The essay contest is for students in Grades 6 through 12. The winner for Grades 6 through 8 was Megan Sturgis of Windsor, a sixth grader attending Windsor Elementary School. Megan‘s winning essay was entitled “The Maine Constitution”. Entrants in Grades 9 through 12 submitted essays on the topic of “The Importance of Voting and Democracy”. Tenth grader Morgan Downey Shields of Hiram took first place in this division with her work titled “My Voice”. Morgan is a tenth grader at Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram.

In addition to the entrants in this year’s contest, Dunlap also had high praise for their teachers as well, saying “The educators who helped guide these students through the relevant studies of our State’s history and Constitution have done a remarkable job imparting these key lessons.”
Judges for this year’s contest were State Archivist David Cheever, State Representative (and teacher) Kimberly Silsby, and David Connerty-Marin, Director of Communications for the Department of Education. Winning entries from this year’s contest can be seen on the Secretary of State’s website here: