AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced the names of the winners of the 2015 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest.

The annual contest allows Maine students from grades K through 12 to participate, with older students submitting essays regarding the Maine Constitution, voting and democracy; and younger students creating posters reflecting Maine history or symbols.

“The essay and poster contest is a great opportunity for students to reflect on the wide spectrum of Maine’s identity, from the rich traditions of our native tribes to the whimsy of whoopie pies as our state treat,” said Dunlap. “We congratulate the winners and hope that all of the students gained a deeper appreciation for their state through their participation.”

The essay contest is for students in grades six through 12 and is divided into two categories.

The theme for grades six through eight is “The Maine Constitution.” Carolyn Frank, a home-schooled 8th grader from Farmington, received top honors for her essay titled “The Division of Power.”

Placing first in the grades nine through 12 category, with the theme “The Importance of Voting and Democracy,” is Dominick Frank, for his essay titled, “The Rise of Democracy.” Dominick is a home-schooled 10th grader from Farmington.

The poster contest, open to students from kindergarten to grade five, is broken into two categories. Both of the selected entries come from The Boxberry School in Oxford. For grades K through three, “Maine State Symbols” is the focus. Third grader Mina Kazimierczak took top honors. Students in grades four and five have “Maine History” as a topic. Fifth grader Nathan Cooper placed first for his poster depicting the Penobscot tribe.

Winning students and their classes are invited to view the state’s original 1820 Constitution at the Maine State Archives in Augusta – a special honor, as it is not regularly removed from the storage vault for viewing.

Judges for this year’s contest were Sen. Anne M. Haskell, D-Cumberland, Rep. Beth P. Turner, R-Burlington and Betsy Spekke, archivist at the Maine State Archives.

The winning artwork and essays are available for viewing online.

FMI: http://www.maine.gov/sos/kids/student-programs/const_essay.htm.


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