ST. GEORGE – “It’s a good way to trick students into loving to write,” Kristie Wheeler, 6th grade language arts teacher at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School, said speaking about St. George Rotary Club’s 10th annual 4-Way Test Essay Contest. “And, its good for these kids to know someone thinks what they have to say is important.”
At the recent weekly meeting of the local service club, Wheeler and two other language arts teachers, parents and members of St. George Rotary Club heard the seven first and second place winning essays in this year’s competition from among more than 300 entries.
To participate, students in four intermediate schools in the Washington County School District were invited by Chairman Durant McArthur and his committee, to put their thoughts in writing about someone they know who best exemplifies Rotary’s 24-word test of ethics in all aspects of life: is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendship? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Awarded a $50 first prize at Fossil Ridge Intermediate School was Addilyn Walker, daughter of Rachel and Jacob Walker, who wrote about her own father. A second place prize of $25 went to Emily Gomez, daughter of Adriana and Rodrigo Gomez, who shared respect and admiration for her dance teacher.
At Lava Ridge Intermediate School, first place honors went to Jonathan Naylor, son of Merry Kay and Cordell Naylor, who wrote about his best friend. Sydney McCaul, daughter of Joe and Andria McCaul, was the second place recipient for her essay about her mom, who she said “is a perfect example of Rotary’s 4-way test.”
Ellie Coder, daughter of Shana and Zach Coder, a student at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School, was recognized for her well-written thoughts about her mother who lives both the letter and the spirit of the 4-way test. Also at Sunrise Ridge, Elle Melo, daughter of Katie and Iuri Melo, showered praise on her language arts teacher, whom she reports “works us hard because she loves us and wants us to succeed.”
Timothy Isom, the lone participant from Tonaquint Intermediate School, took home thefirst place award for his insightful essay about his father’s influence in teaching him the principle of honesty.
Language arts teachers in the school district with at least a 30 percet participation in the contest, were also awarded $200 to use in whatever way the teacher deems appropriate. Recipients included Kristie Wheeler from Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School with 100 percent participation among her students; Kristine Sewell from Fossil Ridge Intermediate School, who had 119 of her 139 students participate and called the exercise “an opportunity to have a little glimpse into their personal lives”; and Kamille Finklea from Lava Ridge Intermediate School, who noted how many children in the world lack positive role models in their lives.
Rotary is a worldwide service club of 1.2 million neighbors, friends and community leaders who serve in a variety of ways to create positive, lasting change in the local community and around the world.
Rotarians promote peace, fight disease, provide clean drinking water, work to protect the health of mothers and children, support education and economic growth in communities throughout the world. In Washington County, there are five clubs. St. George Rotary and Hurricane Valley Rotary clubs meets Monday at noon in their community. Red Rock Rotary meets at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dixie Sunrise Rotary meets at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday and the new Zion Canyon Rotary club meets at 1 p.m. each Thursday.
For more information about the 4-Way Test Essay Contest or about other programs of Rotary, call 435-669-8020 or e-mail Lcsappi66@gmail.com.