Essay winners honored at awards banquet


Reminding everyone that character counts were 33 students who gathered Tuesday at Crawfordsville High School.

Representing each district, students of all ages who participated in the recent Foundations for Life Essay Contest — put on by Character Counts! in Montgomery County — came together in the commons area to be awarded for their top-qualifying entries.

Student entries touched on a wide variety of character-building topics such as kindness, patience and thinking before speaking.

“What makes this so important? Why is good character needed,” asked Madison Fry, a Character Counts! student board member. “Every single day, the decisions and choices you make are influenced by your character. It gives you your morals and helps you decide the difference between right and wrong.”

First-, second- and third-place winners were announced for each entry level, including elementary, middle school and high school categories, with one overall winner announced in each.

New Market student Amarah Shannon won the elementary category with an essay on learning lessons from loved ones, while Crawfordsville Middle School student Audronna Flynn took home the top prize for middle school with her essay about helping others. Winning the high school category and the overall grand prize was Athenian Drake Hayes, who wrote an essay on persistence.

“Drake believes that it’s easy to fold when life gets tough, but you should always get up and give it one more try,” said Shawn Greiner, Character Counts! board member and superintendent of Southmont Schools. “Congratulations, Drake.”

Awards of $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third were given to each of the winners. An additional $100 was given to the overall winners of each category. Awards were made possible the following donors: Hoosier Heartland State Bank, Montgomery County Community Foundation, Teacher’s Credit Union, Tri-County Bank and Wabash College.

Other students honored (by category) include:

• Elementary — Caroline Bowling, first place (tie), Hoover; Anders Carlson, first place (tie), Nicholson; Alea Seward, second place, Hoover; Rylee Lyon, third place (tie), Hoover; Maebel Hoar, third place (tie), Hoover; Beth Brooks, first place, Pleasant Hill; Hannah Barnes, second place, Pleasant Hill; Brandon Koons, third place, Sugar Creek; Emily Link, second place, New Market; and Lennon Woods, third place, Walnut Elementary.

• Middle school — Hutton Haas, second place, CMS; Celeste Moore, third place, CMS; Kaydence Young, first place, Northridge; Robert Waddell, second place, Northridge; Haven Huff, third place (tie), Northridge; Ella Smith, third place (tie), Northridge; Calinn Murphy, first place, Southmont Junior High; Hayden Hess, second place, Southmont Junior High; and Nicole Spurr, third place, Southmont Junior High.

• High school — Delaney Gobel, second place (tie), CHS; Elizabeth Bowling, second place (tie), CHS; Faith Galbert, third place, CHS; Morgan Meadows, first place, NMHS; Madison Moseley, second place, NMHS; Courtney Engels, third place (tie), NMHS; Zach Waldon, third place (tie), NMHS; Cassidy Bowlin, first place, SHS; Keyley Remley, second place, SHS; Mikayla Know, third place (tie), SHS; and Ruley Woodall, third place (tie), SHS.