Collin S. Sargent’s essay on the given topic “How Can I Help My Friends Realize Their Value?” was deemed the local winner for the Optimist Club of LaGrange.
The three students whose essays had been judged the best out of the 12 entries, were invited to attend the club’s regular Monday meeting yesterday to have lunch and to share their essays with the club’s members. The three finalists were Joshua J. Alise, a senior at Callaway High School; Emily K. Fenn, a senior from LaGrange High School; and Sargent, who is an eighth grader at Long Cane Middle School. Alise was unable to attend Monday due to illness.
The students attended the luncheon along with family members and the faculty member who had sponsored them for the competition. Fenn was accompanied by her mother, Angie Fenn, and Beth Green, English department chairwoman of LaGrange High School. Sargent was accompanied by his parents, Janie and Steve Sargent, and Sara Morman, his language arts teacher. Debra Jackson, a guidance counselor at Callaway High School, attended the luncheon to represent Alise.
Vaughn Yarbrough, the chairman for this year’s essay contest, explained how the judging had taken place and how close the three finalists’ scores were.
“Even though I was not a judge, I read all of the 12 essays and the thing that impresses me the most was how well they were all written,” Yarbrough said. “There was only two and a half points between the three top essays.”
Fenn and Sargent then read their essays with Jackson reading Alise’s. After all three essays were read, Yarbrough presented the first place medallion to Sargent, the second place medallion to Fenn and the third place medallion was given to Jackson to present to Alise. Certificates of participation were made and were available for all 12 students.
Sargent will now advance to the club’s Zone 10 competition. If Sargent should win at that level he would then advance to the region level and after that to the district level of competition. The winner at the district level will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
Yarbrough ended the program by thanking the students for their participation, and the parents, school staff members and the Troup County School System for their support of the students and the club’s essay program.
The Optimist Club of LaGrange is a service organization that is part of Optimist International. The club works to support and encourage youth, which is characterized by their motto, “Bringing Out the Best in Kids.” To learn more about the Optimist Club of LaGrange, club president Scott Cook may be reached at 770-655-9653 and the club’s international website at www.optimist.org.