December 11, 2006

Announcing the Results of the Fifth Annual HSLDA Essay Contest

With 158 entries from around the world, judges in the Fifth Annual Home School Legal Defense Association Essay Contest were hard-pressed to whittle down the essays to the top five in each category.

For Category One, students ages 9 to 14 wrote an essay with the theme of “Beginning.” These young students’ creative topics ranged from baby brothers, to a new home, to Hurricane Katrina, to being on a swim team.

The top essay in this category was written by Christopher Taylor, who wrote about “A Positive Outlook for Katrina Victims.” Second place went to Shannon Davis and third place went to Christina Hastings. Honorable mentions were given to Kelli Joyce and Alice Nyquist.

“I was impressed with how these students could take one word and come up with so many different topics related to that word,” one judge said. “Many of these students were obviously passionate about the subjects they chose for their essays. It was delightful to see that passion come through in their writings.”

Category Two writers, students ages 14 to 18, wrote on the topic of “Perspectives.” Themes varied widely, including how diabetes, driving lessons, and religious viewpoints shape a person’s perspectives.

First place in this category went to Amanda Lax, who wrote about “How the Past Changed My Perspective.” Second place went to Bethany Sanderson and third place went to Emilia Laity. Honorable mentions were given to Caris Penzien and Rebekah Bell.

“I could tell the contestants worked hard—they have every right to be proud!” said another judge. “I was especially struck by the thoughtfulness of each essay, and the way students used their personal experiences to illustrate the theme.”

The proceeds from the contest will be given to the Home School Foundation Special Needs Fund.

To read the winning essays below, click on the contestants’ names. ( requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Category 1

First Place
Christopher Glenn Taylor

Second Place
Shannon Davis

Third Place
Christina Grace Hastings

Honorable Mention
Kelli Danielle Joyce

Honorable Mention
Alice Irene Nyquist

Category 2

First place
Amanda Lax

Second place
Bethany Sanderson

Third place
Emilia “Mia” Laity

Honorable mention
Caris Sarah Penzien

Honorable mention
Rebekah Ann Bell