Witkos, Case & Chapin Celebrate Torrington Student Writers

May 16, 2014

Winner: Bryce Coudriet, St. Peter/St. Francis School

Brandon Sykes, St. Peter/St. Francis School

David Chmielewski, Torrington Middle School

Torrington – Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8), Senator Clark Chapin (R-30) and Representative Jay Case (R-63) honored four Torrington students for winning their school essay contests sponsored by Torrington Savings Bank. The winning students, 6th graders from St. Peter/St. Francis School and Torrington Middle School, were presented with citations and a special prize from Torrington Savings Bank during an award ceremony at the Torrington Public Library on Wednesday evening.

Winners include:
Bryce Coudriet, St. Peter/St. Francis School
Adriel Camacho, Torrington Middle School

Runners-up include:
Brandon Sykes, St. Peter/St. Francis School
David Chmielewski, Torrington Middle School

“The incredible work created by these students is inspiring. They each share very important messages powerfully and poignantly. I was blown away by what I heard. These young writers clearly have very successful futures ahead of them,” said Sen. Witkos.

“My hat’s off to Bryce and Adriel for their hard work and well-written essays that rose above the rest,” Rep. Case said. “Their work explains leadership and what it takes to lead. Don’t be surprised if these two, along with runner-ups Brandon and David, rise to any occasion. Their futures are bright and I hope they reach for the stars.”

The students were asked to write essays in response to the question, “If you were a CT Lawmaker, what bill would you propose and why?”

Torrington Savings Bank sponsored the contest and awarded the top writers with their own bank account and initial deposits of $50 for the runners-up and $100 for the winners. During the ceremony, the students read their essays, which focused on the following topics:

  • Bryce Coudriet, the winner from St. Peter/St. Francis School would propose a law prohibiting adults from smoking in the car with children under 18 and provided research about the health risks.
  • Adriel Camacho, the winner from Torrington Middle School, reflected on one of the most horrible days in our recent memories, December 14, 2012—the day of the Newtown tragedy. Because of this horrific event, Adriel would propose a law allowing teachers with permits to carry pistols in school. He also proposed a plan of implementation, including training for teachers.
  • Brandon Sykes, the runner-up from St. Peter/St. Francis School would propose a law prohibiting adults under the influence of alcohol from being in the presence of children and discussed some of the social consequences that occur when children are exposed to intoxicated adults.
  • David Chmielewski, the runner-up from Torrington Middle School, would propose changing our state’s self-defense law to eliminate the duty to retreat before using deadly force. He even researched the self-defense laws in other states as a frame of reference.

“Congratulations to these young writers,” said Sen. Chapin, who was unable to attend the award event. “After hearing about their amazing skills and reading their essays I was sincerely impressed by each of the winning students. They all surely have promising futures with their creative and bright minds. Torrington should be very proud.”

Wendy Healey, Senior Vice President of Retail & Marketing at Torrington Savings Bank, also congratulated each student at the award ceremony.

“Torrington Savings Bank is proud to donate the prizes for the Torrington Essay contest in partnership with Senator Witkos, Senator Chapin and Representative Case,” said Healey. “As a mutual savings bank, TSB provides benefits to its accountholders and the community. Providing incentives for youth to be involved through excellent writing certainly fits that mission. We thank our state senators and representative for their leadership of this initiative, and the faculty of St Peter/St Francis School and Torrington Middle School for their support of the program. Congratulations to the winners and runners up on their achievements.”