Kelly, Hoydick, Miller Celebrate Stratford Student Writers

May 19, 2014
Back Row: Patty Gallagher, Vice President of the Milford Bank; Rep. Laura Hoydick; Sindy Berkowitz, Manager Stratford Shop Rite Office; Sen. Kelly   Front row: Natalie Sciallo, St. Mark School; Ashlinn Derleth, St. Mark School; Andy Ilie, Wilcoxson School; Connor Bolton, Wilcoxson School; Natalie Gordon, St. James School; Ethan Miller, St. James School; Alejandro McCormick, Lordship Elementary School; Jessica Maldonado, Lordship Elementary School; Kevin DeWit, Chapel St. School

Back Row: Patty Gallagher, Vice President of the Milford Bank; Rep. Laura Hoydick; Sindy Berkowitz, Manager Stratford Shop Rite Office; Sen. Kelly

Front row: Natalie Sciallo, St. Mark School; Ashlinn Derleth, St. Mark School; Andy Ilie, Wilcoxson School; Connor Bolton, Wilcoxson School; Natalie Gordon, St. James School; Ethan Miller, St. James School; Alejandro McCormick, Lordship Elementary School; Jessica Maldonado, Lordship Elementary School; Kevin DeWit, Chapel St. School

Stratford – Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21), Representative Laura Hoydick (R-120) and Representative Larry Miller (R-122) honored nine Stratford students for winning their school essay contests sponsored by the Milford Bank in Stratford. The winning 6th graders from Chapel Street School, Lordship Elementary School, St. Mark School, St. James School and Wilcoxson School were presented with citations and a special prize from Milford Bank during an award ceremony at the Stratford Library on Thursday evening.

Students were asked to write a 300-word essay on the topic “Important Women in CT history and how their contributions to the state and nation affect me.” Teachers chose the winners and runners-up. The Milford Bank in Stratford provided prizes including Visa gift cards ($25 to runners-up and $50 to winners) and Milford Bank goodie bags of school supplies. Each student was also presented with a citation from their local legislators.

“These special young writers were asked to write about important women in Connecticut’s history and talk about how these women’s accomplishments impact them today,” said Sen. Kelly. “The resulting student essays tell the story of our history, and also of our future. Their interpretation and understanding of history shows us how important the past was, and also how the past has shaped the minds of the next generation. I congratulate them all on their amazing work.”

“The work of these students examining numerous important women throughout the history of our state really tells the story of the state through their eyes,” said Rep. Hoydick. “The variety of women who were chosen as topics by these great students reflects the multitude variety of adversity and challenges that Connecticut women have faced and triumphed over during the past three centuries. I extend my congratulations to these students on their fantastic work.”

“These talented young students are to be congratulated on their impressive work,” said Rep. Miller. “These essays demonstrate a deep understanding of the important subjects covered, and deserve the recognition they received. Many thanks go to Milford Bank in Stratford as well for their participation in recognizing these students.”

The Milford Bank was also present to congratulate the students.

“The Milford Bank is thrilled to help sponsor this essay contest,” said Patricia Gallagher, the bank’s vice president. “The essays created by these talented young people on such an important topic speaks to the quality of the young people in the Stratford Community. Their parents, schools and the community as a whole should be very proud.”

Winners include the following students and topics:

Chapel St. School

Winner: Kevin DeWitt wrote about Alice Hamilton, who was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame for her work as a leading expert in the field of occupational health. She was the first female appointed faculty at Harvard University.

Lordship Elementary School

Winner: Jessica Maldonado wrote about Maria Sanchez, an advocate for bilingual education in public schools and the first Hispanic woman elected to the General Assembly.

Runner-Up: Alejandro McCormick wrote about Helen Keller, a courageous and determined advocate for civil liberties who learned to communicate despite her disabilities.

St. James School

Winner: Ethan Miller also wrote about Maria Sanchez and her journey as a political activist and her efforts to improve the quality of life for Hispanics in CT.

Runner-Up: Natalie Gordon wrote about Helen Keller.

St. Mark School

Winner: Natalie Sciallo wrote about Harriet Beecher Stowe, an abolitionist and the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book which discussed the pain and suffering of slavery.

Runner-up: Ashlinn Derleth wrote about Ella Grasso, the first female governor of any U.S. state elected in her own right.

Wilcoxson School

Winner: Connor Bolton wrote about Sybil Ludington, the daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, who is known for her 40 mile night ride to alert the American colonial forces that the British were approaching.

Runner-up: Andy Ilie wrote about Donna Lopiano, an influential figure in the athletic community.