Today, at the 2013 PNC/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recognized four Kentucky high school students for winning the 24th annual Essay Contest in their respective grades:

• Megan Theresa Beischel – 12th Grade (Notre Dame Academy)
• Michael John Jarvi – 11th Grade (Christian Academy of Louisville)
• Madison Hope Vaughn – 10th Grade (Marshall County High School)
• Kelsey Cole – 9th Grade (Magoffin County High School)

The contest was created in 1988 to inspire students to be active and informed citizens, with particular emphasis on election-related issues. This year, high school students were invited to write essays regarding mandatory voting laws and how they would be affected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. Entries were judged on research and understanding of voting and the First Amendment, idea development, organization, language and correctness.

“I am excited to recognize these students for their achievement and their commitment to civic engagement,” said Secretary Grimes. “With future leaders like Megan, Michael, Madison and Kelsey, I am confident that Kentucky’s future is bright.” Grimes continued, “All of the contest participants should be proud of their outstanding work and strong citizenship; I encourage them to continue to participate in our democratic society.” 

Each winner received a $2,000 savings bond, contributed by KEA and KEA Retired, Harp Enterprises, Election Systems & Software, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and Kentuckiana Election Service Co. They also had the privilege of being recognized at center court of Rupp Arena, thanks to the PNC/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament organizers.

Winners of the slogan contest, which is open to students in grades 6 through 8, will be announced separately.




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