VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club announced the winners of its 2018 Essay Contest on Tuesday.
Sarah Hartley, a senior at Chaminade-Julienne High School, was the overall winner. Her essay was entered in the Ohio District competition to compete for scholarship money.
Under the theme “Can society function without respect?” over 100 students from St. Christopher, Morton Middle, Chaminade-Julienne, and Butler High Schools submitted essays that were judged over a ten day period in February.
Each essay was scored by two judges on a variety of criteria including organization, creativity, vocabulary and style, grammer, punctuation, and spelling, and adherence to contest rules.
Hartley, in the winning essay, argued that society cannot function without respect.
“There has always been a problem with a lack of respect throughout all of history, but it seems to be more relevant today than ever,” she wrote. “Differences in political viewpoints, religions, social class, education, race, sexual orientation, and culture have begun to lead to an increase in hate and violence that we should not be seeing.
“Respect is a value that we all need to have for each other, but it needs to start for ourselves first. We have to learn to accept ourselves, love ourselves, and learn what we believe and why. Once we can do this, we can begin think about how our actions and choices affect other people. From that, we can choose respect. We can choose kindness. We can choose compassion.”
The top essays were recognized at a luncheon hosted by the Optimist Club on Tuesday. Honored students were:
First place – Cate Hartley
First place – AJ Hathaway
Second place – Caylynn Bloemker
Third place (tie) – Ava Long and Annabel Lozan
Fifth place – Natalie Schoenherr
First place – Sarah Hartley
Second place – Alyssa Burley
Third place – Jenna Albezreh
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.
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