Secretary of State
Secretary of State Announces Winners of Annual Essay Contest

Press Release Date:  Monday, March 19, 2012  
Contact Information:  Lynn Sowards Zellen
Director of Communications
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Cell: 502-330-9839

On Friday, March 16, 2012, at the 2012 PNC/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recognized four Kentucky high school students for winning the 22nd annual Essay Contest in their respective grades:

• Matthew Stephen Smith – 12th Grade (Estill County High School)
• Kaylee Robin Hicks – 11th Grade (Woodford County High School)
• William Haydon – 10th Grade (Montgomery County High School)
• William Eliot Smith – 9th Grade (Henry Clay High School)

The contest was created in 1988 to inspire students to be active and informed citizens, with particular emphasis on election-related issues. This year, high school students were invited to write essays regarding government regulation of speech in the context of elections. Entries were judged on purpose of communication, idea development, organization, use of language, and accuracy and evidence of subject comprehension.

“I am proud to recognize these students for their achievement and their commitment to civic engagement,” said Secretary Grimes. “I am also encouraged by the fact that we received an overwhelming number of entries, even though studies show that Kentucky’s overall civic health is declining in many areas.” Grimes continued, “All of these students should be proud of their outstanding work and strong citizenship; I encourage them to continue to participate in our democratic society.” 

Each winner received a monetary award of $1,500, contributed by Houchens Industries, KEA Retired, Turner Construction, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, and US Bank. They also had the privilege of being recognized at center court of Rupp Arena, thanks to the PNC/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament organizers.

Winners of the slogan contest, which is open to students in grades 6 through 8, will be announced separately.