An anti-drug awareness essay contest for local students garnered much interest this year from grades 6-12. McMinnville Lions Club offers the annual event.
This year’s theme was “Drug-Free Is the Way to Be: Why I Choose a Drug-Free Life.” Students from Warren County High School, Warren Academy, Eastside, Covenant Academy, Dibrell, Irving College, Morrison and Warren County Middle School participated.
Winners in the high school division were Kade Redmon, first place; Jaylin Ayer, second place; and Tyler Moore, third place.
Middle school division winners were Morrison student Lauren Childers, first place; WCMS student Alyssa Ledbetter, second place; and Dibrell student Nick White, third place.
Childers’ essay used an analogy between racing and life.
“As I think of my life, I see that I am a lot like the racecar drivers,” she said. “I am in control of the largest race of all — the race of my life. The choices I make along the way will determine the outcome of my race.”
Drug free is the way to be, says Childers.
“Just as the racecars are well-tuned machines prepared for the race, my body and mind serve as my vehicle for the race of life. I should decide to take care of my body and make good choices when it comes to it. I should eat well-balanced meals, exercise and get plenty of rest. I should avoid and resist the temptations of this world when it comes to drugs, sex, and alcohol. Drug free is truly the way to be.”
Warren Academy director Diane Stanley says she believes the Lions Club essay contest is a good way to bring attention to the drug problem in Warren County, and she is proud of her students’ performance each year, and especially this one, where they took several top honors.
“Every year they’ve done this we’ve had our students at Warren Academy participate,” Stanley said. “It’s a wonderful writing assignment for everyone. We’ve had top winners before, but this the first year where we’ve had 12 certificate winners for first, second and third place in different grade levels, from ninth to 12th grade. We are so pleased with the thoughtful process our kids went through to discuss things that were very personal to them and their families and the troubles they went through due to drugs and drug use. We’re very proud of the kids and thank the Lions Club for providing a way for them to participate and win some money for their efforts.”
Honorable mentions were given to students in various schools:
• Eastside — seventh-graders Madison Jones, Cheyenne Newby and Aracely Lopez; eighth-graders Casey Edwards, Amber Cameron and Ariel Copeland.
• Covenant Academy — sixth-graders Nick Simmons, Andrew Scott and Crosley Smith; seventh-graders David Taylor Madewell, David Nuthalapaty and Hannah Griffin; eighth-graders Mathis Whitlock, Maya Mart and Kerri Berenguer.
• Dibrell — sixth-graders Rebecca Bain and Ivy Eidson.
• Irving College — sixth-graders Layton Cartwright, Cheslee Curtis and Kaitlyn Mullican; seventh-graders Clint Grissom, Gabriel Clemons and Kaylee Campbell; eighth-graders Brianna Cook, Andi Reed and Angela Cobb.
• Morrison — seventh-graders Landon Walker, Gavin Powers and Tommy Smith; eighth-graders Odalys Ontiveros and Cheyanne Newton.
• WCMS — eighth-graders Alyssa Ledbetter, Hannah Rowland and Amber Bryant.
• Warren Acedemy — eighth-graders Zach King, Julian Martinez and Preston Pleasant; ninth-graders Cody Anderson and Ricky Rogers; 10th-graders Drake Cates and Tyler Edwards; 11th-graders Terry Stringer and Brandon Heffington; 12th-graders Kenya Chaney, Morgan Lynn Fults and Laura Watts.
• WCHS — Hannah Madewell.
Winners in each division were given $50 for first place, $25 for second, and $10 for third. First-place winners will advance to the district contest, where winners will be awarded savings bonds ranging from $200 to $1,500.