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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Student Voices

As editor of Student Voices, the Press' monthly opinion writing and drawing contest for grades 7-12, I get to peek into the minds and hearts of middle- and high schoolers in our area. The response to this month's topic - who was the greatest American and why? - shows that students can think and write. We had plenty to choose from, as my colleagues and I judged 299 entries.

You would expect to receive essays about George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison and the Rev. Martin Luther King, and we did. Several students focused on the American soldier; others on doctors and researchers and even their parents. But we also read of people we didn't expect: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Alvin Ailey, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt and others. Essays that were more than biographies and emphasized these Americans' lasting achievements stood out.

For those concerned about the next generation of leaders and thinkers, our Student Voices winning essays offer reassurance. Catch them on the op-ed page this Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday of each month from October through May.

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