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May 6, 2009
Contact: Matthew Dunlap

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Announces Winners of 2009 Maine Constitution Poster and Essay Contest

Winning artwork and essays available on-line

Augusta- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today the names of this year's winners in the Maine Constitution Poster and Essay Contest. Open to Maine students from grades K through 12, and drawing hundreds of submissions, Dunlap noted, “This is always our most popular student contest. All K-12 students, including homeschoolers can participate in a fun project depicting an individual artistic or journalistic impression of Maine in each category. I am most impressed with the variety of topics that students depict in the Maine History poster category.”

The poster contest, open to students from Kindergarten to Grade 5, is broken into two age categories. For grades K-3 “Maine State Symbols” are the focus, and third grader Andrew Howes from Hermon Elementary School took top honors. For students in Grades 4 and 5 the topic is “Maine History”. Fourth grader Allyn Foss of Solon Elementary School won first place for his poster referencing Maine's lumber industry.

The essay contest is for students in Grades 6 through 12. The winner for Grades 6 through 8 was Vivienne Harden of Acadia Christian School in Bar Harbor. Vivienne's essay was entitled “Home”. Entrants in Grades 9 through 12 submitted essays on the topic of “The Importance of Voting and Democracy”. Tenth grader Jacqueline Canning of Biddeford High School garnered first place for her work titled “The Importance of Voting”. Jacqueline entered the contest individually, not as a class project.

Dunlap acknowledged educators for their impact in Maine history, civics and government studies. “The purpose of this contest is to promote the history of Maine, the Maine Constitution and the importance of democracy and civic engagement. It is evident that students are retaining this knowledge from the classroom and I credit their teachers for engaging their students in this area.”

Judges for this year's contest were State Representative Brian Langley, State Representative Diane Russell and State Senator Joseph Perry. Winning entries from this year's contest can be seen on the Secretary of State's website: .