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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two Henry Clay High School students
tops League of Women Voters’ essay contest

Students at Henry Clay High School took the lead in this year’s Lexington League of Women Voters essay contest.


First place and a prize of $250 went to sophomore Michael Sommer for his entry “If You Can Keep It,” and his social studies teacher, Keen Babbage, received a $100 honorarium.


Henry Clay senior Jenny Lee, the runner-up, was awarded $150 for her essay “True American Citizenry,” and her teacher and librarian Janie Cantrell received $50.


Third place went to Emma Daugherty, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, for “Pulling Their Own Weight: Active Citizenship and Immigration.” Emma was awarded $100, and social studies teacher Tara Wilkinson $50.


Students in public and private Fayette County high schools were encouraged to respond to this two-part question: What does the phrase “actively engaged citizen of the United States of America” mean to you? And how does your interpretation of the phrase shape your thinking on one of today’s most important issues? (e.g., voting rights, immigration, partisan politics, national budget problems, health care reform).


“The league sponsors this essay contest each year to encourage and support student interest in the democratic process,” said Tammy Fagley, league president. “We want to encourage young citizens to take responsibility as citizens, vote and perhaps run for public office one day.”


The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization of women and men dedicated to engaging citizens to become informed participants in government. The league does not endorse or oppose candidates or political parties, but its members do study and take positions on issues of importance.


For more information, contact Fagley at (859) 494-3203.


Story and photo of Sommer from FCPS