Homer Alaska - Schools

Story last updated at 3:24 PM on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Homer essayist a first-place winner

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

Miranda Martin, a sixth-grade student at West Homer Elementary School and the daughter of Victor and Melody Martin, is one of two state winners in the 2011-2012 Alaska State Elks Association's Americanism Essay Contest.

For her writing, Miranda was awarded $250, which can be used for the purchase of a $500 savings bond.

Students were asked to describe in 250 words what the Pledge of Allegiance meant to them. The 125 entrants from around the state were divided into two categories: fifth- and sixth-grade students, and seventh- and eighth-grade students. Winning in the seventh- and eighth-grade category was John Paul Albano of Kodiak.

"They had to be succinct, to the point and know what they wanted to write about," said Richard "Tiny" Fagg of the Elks Eagle River lodge and chairperson of the ASEA Americanism Committee. "The two kids that took first place did a fine job of putting across their reasons."

Of Miranda's writing, Fagg said, "Her idea of what it meant to her was interesting, as well as her writing mechanics. She's a very good writer for her age group. She did a fantastic job in the grammar portion of it, as well as the text of it."

In a letter to Miranda, Fagg wrote, "Your interest and enthusiasm for not only writing, but also for this great country of ours is wholly evident in your wonderfully written essay."

Winning essays from each state have been entered into national competition, with the winners to be announced in July, said Fagg.