Sadie Fjeldal, a Laning Avenue of Pamela Solomon, won first place in the county for fourth grade students. Bridget Aloia, a Brookdale Avenue student of Megan Lavoie, won second place in the second grade category, Sofia Morales of Forest Avenue (taught by Cindy Graves) won second place in third grade, Owen Channa (taught by MaryAnne Halbert) took second in sixth grade and Allyson Vasquez (taught by Carol Thomas) won second in seventh grade. Sarah Wynne (taught by Jackie Miskinis) took third place among the county’s seventh graders. The winners earned a $100, $75 or $50 gift certificate for placing first, second or third respectively.
These students and their teachers were invited to attend the awards ceremony on March 21. The students each read their essay to the audience.The Verona Education Association “Pride in Public Education” Committee sponsors the Verona entries.
The essay awards occur during the week of the ECEA Pride Expo held at the Livingston Mall. Artwork from Verona High School, H.B. Whitehorne Middle School and all four elementary schools was displayed for the week. In addition, science and technology, engineering and design (TED) projects from the middle school as well as social studies projects from Laning Avenue School were represented in the displays.
“While the Verona entries were exceptional, one in particular stood out because of its subject,” said Thomas, who chairs the VEA’s pride committee. “The high school theme was ‘Looking back, who in your school career has had the biggest impact on your life?’. Emily Wynne, a VHS tenth grader, wrote a moving essay about Mrs. Carol Clifford, her fifth grade teacher. Mrs. Clifford was able to attend the reading, despite her recent health challenges.”