TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – School winners in The University of Alabama’s 11th annual “To Kill a Mockingbird” Essay Contest for high school students were recognized with a luncheon and awards ceremony Friday, Jan.27.
School winners in UA’s essay contest were recognized at the University Club with a luncheon in their honor.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and UA faculty member Rick Bragg was the guest speaker.
The essay contest began in 2001 to recognize author Harper Lee’s induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor.
Contest submissions were accepted from public, private and home-schooled high school students.
Each participating school chooses a winning entry, and a monetary prize is given to each of the winners. Participants were required to write a 500-750 word essay about how the book speaks to readers in today’s society.
In her essay, this year’s statewide winner, Melissa Lawrence of Hewitt-Trussville High School wrote, “Through the life lessons that are exemplified by Atticus Finch, the novel still illuminates the world Scout dreams of, where people are just ordinary people and social classes are nonexistent.”
As the state winner, Lawrence received $500 and $500 was also awarded to her school, Hewitt-Trussville High School. A panel of judges from the UA Honors College and English department selects the statewide student winner.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” speaks to students in this generation as powerfully as it did to students of previous generations,” said Dr. Fran Oneal, associate director of the University Honors Program and director of the International Honors Program, who also oversees the essay competition.
All students who win the essay contest at their individual high schools were invited to attend the luncheon and an awards ceremony at UA. Student essays are also archived in UA’s Hoole Special Collections Library.
Noted author Rick Bragg, a faculty member of the UA department of journalism, was the featured speaker at the luncheon. Bragg is known for his writing on the South and contemporary America. His most famous work, “All Over but the Shoutin’,” is a critically acclaimed autobiography about growing up in the South. The book is found on the reading lists of universities throughout the country.
Bragg’s other books include “The Prince of Frogtown,” an exploration of his father’s life in their hometown of Jacksonville, and “The Most They Ever Had,” stories of men and women who worked in the Jacksonville cotton mill.
The essay contest is sponsored by the UA Honors College and the Alabama State Department of Education. Further support is provided by The Alabama Center for the Book, the UA Offices of Academic Affairs, Alumni Affairs and Undergraduate Admissions, and the University Libraries.
The 2012 winners included:
|Keyanna||Abrams||Northridge High School|
|James||Albritton||Andalusia High School|
|Adam||Alfano||Decatur High School|
|Cole||Baker||Sheffield High School|
|Cassidy||Balkcom||Highland Home School|
|Corey||Boswell||Hale County High School|
|Duncan||Brittain||T R Miller High School|
|Emily||Buice||Tallassee High School|
|Leah||Clark||Holy Spirit High School|
|Stephen||Cooper||Charles Henderson High School|
|Carly||Fenn||Thompson High School|
|Morgan||Fletcher||Locust Fork High School|
|Margaret||Friedenreich||Auburn Jr. High School|
|Sarah||Hartley||Shades Valley High School|
|Elizabeth||Heiss||Daphne High School|
|Blair||Hendricks||Zion Chapel School|
|Hansol||Hong||BTW Magnet High|
|Melissa||Huynh||Sylacauga High School|
|Sara||Kachelman||Florence High School|
|Dominique||Kelly||Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School|
|Melissa||Lawrence||Hewitt-Trussville High School|
|Phillip||McClendon||Benjamin Russell High School|
|JaNae||McNeil||Booker T. Washington High School|
|Brianna||Miller||Alma Bryant High School|
|Madison||Minshew||Geneva High School|
|Siddhartha||Namda||Virgil I. Grissom High School|
|Kayela||Norris||Berry High School|
|Destiny||Powell||Foley High School|
|Amy||Sims||Gaston High School|
|Kathryn||Skelton||Northside High School|
|Eric||Skidmore||Jefferson County International Baccalaureate High School|
|Heather||Smith||Brookwood High School|
|Olivia||Snyder||Shelby County High School|
|Dylan||Stewart||KDS DAR High|
|Layla||Tajmir||Hoover High School|
|Candace||Ward||Winfield City High School|
|Elizabeth||Ward||Walker High School|
|Claudia||Watkins||Shades Valley High School|
|Jay||Williams||Susan Moore High School|
|Matthew||Wilson||Robertsdale High School|
|Madison||Wolfe||Smiths Station High School|