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Local student places in nat’l essay contest

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Finalist in Tennessee (1)

Morgan Ivey (at left), an eighth grader at Blanche School, was one of three students statewide recognized in a national essay competition. Here, he is congratulated by his teacher, Debbie Keith.

Morgan Ivey, an eighth grade student at Blanche School, is one of three students statewide to be recognized in a national essay contest.

“As teachers, it is sometimes difficult to challenge our students that need that extra push above our everyday standards in the classroom,” said Debbie Keith, Morgan’s language arts teacher at Blanche. “One way that I challenge my students is to give them essay opportunities offered through outside sources. One of the opportunities we’ve had this year was through BlueNose Entertainment, which produced the movie, ‘Chasing Mavericks’.”

The movie, “Chasing Mavericks,” is the inspirational life story of surf legend Jay Moriarty, whose dream was to ride the waves at Mavericks off the coast of Santa Cruz. Jay devoted every free moment to achieving his goal during his teen years. One of the choices of essays that students had was to write about their own personal “maverick” in 300 words or fewer.

Morgan wanted to enter the contest.

“The stipulations were that he attend the movie and bring the ticket stub to prove his attendance, write the essay and bring the final draft essay to me to mail to BlueNose,” Mrs. Keith explained. “Morgan also received an extra credit grade for his efforts.”

There were three categories of winners – grand prize, semi-finalist and third place gift certificate winners. There was one grand prizewinner, three second place winners and 50 third place winners.

There were only three of these winners from the state of Tennessee, and Morgan was among them.

“Even though he did not place first, we feel honored that Morgan placed in a national contest offered to students in all 50 states,” said Mrs. Keith. “We are very proud of all of our students here at Blanche. It is a great school and a wonderful place to get an education and to work.”