Monday, May 6, 2019
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

Secretary Dunlap announces winners of 2019 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest

AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced the names of the winners of the 2019 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest.

The annual contest allows Maine students from grades K through 12 to participate, with older students submitting essays regarding the Maine Constitution, voting and democracy; and younger students creating posters reflecting Maine history or symbols. 

The essay and poster contest is a great opportunity for students to reflect on the wide spectrum of Maine's identity, from our traditional industries to the iconic animals that roam our woods and waters, said Dunlap. We congratulate the winners and hope that all of the students gained a deeper appreciation for their state through their participation.

The essay contest is for students in middle school and high school. It is divided into two categories:

The theme for grades 6-8 is “The Maine Constitution.”  Reese Sullivan, a seventh-grade student in Helen Beesley’s class at Windsor Elementary, received top honors in this category for her essay entitled State Parks: The History and The Memories.  

The theme for grades 9-12 is “The Importance of Voting and Democracy.” Brent Bellanceau, a 10th-grade student in Laura Fralich’s class at Arthur R. Gould School in South Portland, took first place in this category for his essay entitled The Importance of Prisoners Votes.

The poster contest, open to students from kindergarten to grade 5, is broken into two categories, with a theme of “Maine Symbols” for grades K-3 and “Maine History” for grades 4-5.

Ethan To, a second-grade student in Fran Greenleaf’s class at Ralph M. Atwood Primary School in Oakland, received top honors for his symbols poster, which depicts Maine animals. Mackenzie Shields, a fourth-grade student in Kathy Moody’s class at C.K. Burns School in Saco, took first place for her poster depicting the Maine Ice Storm of 1998.

These students and their classmates are invited to view the state’s original 1820 Constitution at the Maine State Archives in Augusta – a special honor, as it is not regularly removed from the storage vault for viewings.

The posters were judged this spring by three members of the Maine Legislature who volunteered their time: Sen. Robert Foley, (R-York), Rep. Chloe S. Maxmin, (D-Nobleboro), and Rep. James R. Handy, (D-Lewiston).

To learn more about the program and view winning entries from this year’s contest and past contests, visit the Secretary of State’s website.