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Bob Jones students write winning essays for Optimist contest

Winners in the 2015 Madison Optimist Club Essay Contest were gold-medal recipient Teresa Andrejewske, from left, silver winner Megan Zecher, Optimist and contest chairman Jim Gilchrist and bronze winner Michael Samaras. (Contributed/Vic van Leeuwen)
Winners in the 2015 Madison Optimist Club Essay Contest were gold-medal recipient Teresa Andrejewske, from left, silver winner Megan Zecher, Optimist and contest chairman Jim Gilchrist and bronze winner Michael Samaras. (Contributed/Vic van Leeuwen)

MADISON – Three Bob Jones High School students authored winning submissions in the 2015 Madison Optimist Club Essay Contest.

Teresa Andrejewske was the gold medal winner. Megan Zecher earned silver, and Michael Samaras received bronze. The theme was “Optimism Should Be a Priority.”

Andrejewske, Zecher and Samaras read their essays at the Optimists’ April 16 meeting. Optimist and contest chairman Jim Gilchrist presented their awards.

“Each winner received a cash award, in addition to their medallion for exemplary efforts beyond the classroom,” publicist Vic van Leeuwen said. “The essays were great. The kids did a wonderful job of presenting at the meeting.”

In her essay, Andrejewske discussed how her family and brother deal with his autism: “To some people, autism casts a devastating long and gloomy shadow. It is viewed as a disease — as a terrible illness with no cure … I, however, do not share that view.”

Zecher discussed life crises: “The beginnings of creation have always entranced and amazed; there is something charming about the thriving of a sapling, a lion cub or a child.” Samaras wrote, “If we focused on the positives in the news, then leaders would be more focused and able to tackle the problems.”

Andrejewske advanced to earn second place at district-level competition for the Optimist district covering Alabama and Mississippi.

Andrejewske, Zecher and Samaras study multimedia design and creative writing with Brandy Panagos at Bob Jones.

Other participants in the essay contest were students in Jane Sweeney’s classes at St. John Paul II Catholic High School and Michele Penton’s class at Lifegate Home School. The 2015 judges were Linda Sproul, Mary Defour and J. Pepper Bryers.

Madison Optimist Club is a civic organization that conducts events supporting Madison area youth in their effort to become productive members of our society. The club meets monthly on the first and third Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at Stevie B’s Pizza on U.S. 72, just west of Madison.

For more information, call 256-772-8148 or 2t56-461-8787 or visit optimistclubofmadison.org.

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