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Bright Futures for 2011 Contest Winners 
 
 
 CHARLESTON – Fifteen West Virginia school children are on their way to a brighter future through SMART529 after winning regional awards in the 2011 When I Grow Up essay contest.

The 15 were selected out of nearly 3,000 entries from all over West Virginia, and each wins a $500 SMART529 WV Direct account.  An additional $4,500 in a SMART529 account was awarded to Taylor Islay of Wood County, a student at Parkersburg Catholic Elementary, whose name was selected during a random drawing held at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston on May 4.  The schools the children attend were also winners; each received $500 to support school programs.

For the first time, SMART529 awarded $2,500 cash to a West Virginia teacher who wrote an essay about how she planned to use SMART529 lesson plans in her classroom to encourage children to think about going to college.

The When I Grow Up essay contest  and the Teachers’ Essay Contest are sponsored by the SMART529 College Savings program and the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office to promote awareness of SMART529 and the need to save for college.  SMART529 worked with West Virginia teachers to develop lesson plans to assist with practice for the WESTEST. They are available at www.SMART529.com.

The students’ entries were judged by State Board of Education Vice-Chair Priscilla Haden, Charleston Daily Mail Editor and Publisher Nanya Friend and The Manahan Group Art Director Abbey Fiorelli. The teachers’ entries were judged by Terry Reale, a consultant with the West Virginia Department of Education and its former coordinator for English and language arts.

When I Grow Up Essay Contest Winners:

Name

Age

School

County

Occupation

Jackson

Akers

6

Justice Elementary

Logan

Astronaut

Rachel

Fama

7

St. Francis de Sales

Raleigh

Veterinarian

Caitlyn N

Daniels

10

Maxwell Hill Elementary

Raleigh

Teacher

Tanner

Kelly

5

Culloden Elementary

Cabell

Engineer

Gabriel J

May

7

Marmet Elementary

Kanawha

Astronaut

Eythen

Anthony

10

Cross Lanes Elementary

Kanawha

Entomologist

Isabella

McNaboe

6

Belington Elementary

Barbour

Teacher

Elias

Wyckoff

7

Monongah Elementary

Marion

Paleontologist

Jenna

Love

11

Simpson Elementary

Harrison

Violinist

Piper

Cole

7

Brandywine Elementary

Pendleton

Zoo Keeper

Tanner

Rogers

8

Berkeley Heights Elementary

Berkeley

Meteorologist

Tyson

Marlow

10

Wright Denny Intermediate

Jefferson

Architect

Taylor

Isaly

6

Parkersburg Catholic Elem.

Wood

Artist

Emilie

Asher

7

St. Mary’s Elem.

Pleasants

Nurse

Chase

Lang

11

Gihon Elementary

Wood

Orthodontist

MEET THE WINNING STUDENTS

MEET THE WINNING TEACHER: Lee Anne Burton, 2nd Grade Teacher, Monongah Elementary

Information about this year's essay contest was made available through the SMART529.com website, in the SMART529 program's winter school newsletter "SMART Family News," as well as through direct mail. 160,000 newsletters were distributed through public and elementary schools across the state. Mailings were sent to West Virginia families with elementary school children, prompting interest from home-schooled children as well.

For more information about the SMART529 program go to www.SMART529.com.

Click on the links below for additional news coverage:

The Charleston Gazette, Charleston
The Daily Mail, Charleston
West Virginia MetroNews, Charleston
WTAP-TV, Parkersburg
WDTV-TV, Clarksburg
WHSV-TV, Harrisonburg, Va.
The Cabell Standard, Huntington
The Logan Banner, Logan
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