2013 Imagine Schools National Essay Contest

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Our 2013 national character essay contest was a sensational success!  With forty-three schools participating, and approximately two-hundred National Contest entries, many talented young Imagine Schools’ writers demonstrated understanding of complex presidential maxims on virtue.  Thank you for your hard work to teach your students to express in writing what character means to them.

A panel of nine judges read and scored the essays.  The judges awarded first, second and third place winning essays for each grade, and where appropriate, several essays received honorable mention.  The readers were impressed with the quality of writing and with students’ understanding of the lasting importance of good character.


Third Grade:

1st Place: Rayline Waldin—Imagine School at Lakewood Ranch (FL)

“First of all, I have been raised to respect everyone in my life.  This includes teachers, classmates, and property.  To me respect is to feel a deep admiration for someone or something due to their abilities, qualities or achievements.”


Fourth Grade:

1st Place: Anand Persaud—Imagine Foundations at Leeland Public Charter School (MD)

“When you tell a lie, it makes it hard for people to believe you when you do tell the truth.  One time my mom thought I didn’t brush my teeth but I did and I told her so.  My mom said I was going to get a punishment because she didn’t believe my word.  Then I showed her the wet toothbrush and I didn’t get punished.  It upset me that she didn’t believe my word at first.  She need proof.  She didn’t believe me because I had lied before.”


Fifth Grade:

1st Place: Johann Hernández—Imagine Charter at Weston (FL)

“Young people today spend too much time in self-absorbed activities like testing, surfing online, looking at Facebook, instagramming, etc.  This includes a few classmates and even family members of mine.  When they only do these things with their free time, they miss out on the previously discussed advantages of being involved in community projects.  Besides, taking part in community activities improves your local community for both yourself and your family.  This is a win-win situation.”


Sixth Grade:

1st Place: Faith Parker—Imagine Classical Academy at Indigo Ranch (CO)

“There are many ways to resolve a conflict but I think only a few are peaceful.  In my life I have found a person should practice patience, self-control and most importantly forgiveness to resolve conflicts peacefully.”


Seventh Grade:

1st Place: Phillip Moore—Imagine Prep at Coolidge (AZ)

“An innate responsibility of any human is to apply the best effort to be successful in life.  We travel on our own paths, and as we go through different life endeavors, our individual personalities and opinions develop.  Our personal experiences can either make us or break us; it all depends on our attitude.”


Eighth Grade:

1st Place: Nathan Hutfilz—Imagine Classical Academy at Indigo Ranch (CO)

“The affection and love my mother showed to help those in need is absolutely amazing.  She has been the gift of a lifetime to a broken family.  Neither I nor my sisters inherited our futures.  We have been given the opportunity to make our futures great and ever-lasting.  We were given the chance with an opportunity.  My mother took her opportunity, and I am going to take my chance and make the best of it.  With perseverance, dedication, and strength, will you make the most of your opportunities for the future?”


High School:

1st Place: Payden Fulton—Imagine Prep at Superstition (AZ)

“Too many people drift towards “what’s cool”.  This quotes explains that anyone can be successful, but it’s your decision.  You need to decide to have good character and make good choices.  No one else can change for you; you have to take the first step.”