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Cedar Bluff students place in national essay contest

Students at Cedar Bluff Middle have come up with some clever ways to set a good example.

Erin Powers, a teacher at Cedar Bluff Elementary, required her class to send in essays for the SAGE Club, Set A Good Example Club, contest and seven of the students were winners.

“When I had surveyed the class I had asked them if they had ever thought of things they could do to make the world a better place, and I was shocked that a big majority of them hadn’t ever thought about it,” Powers said.

The essay contest began in 1981 as a way of safeguarding the moral integrity of the nation’s children, said Barbara Ayash, president of SAGE Club.

SAGE is sponsored by the Concerned Businessman’s Association of America, which is composed of a national network of businesses, Ayash said.

During the SAGE contest there were 22 entries from Knoxville, and all the students will receive recognition, Ayash said. Overall, there were 50 winners throughout the United States.

“The SAGE contest is not an essay contest. It is about doing things that contribute towards bettering self, family, school, community, and country,” Ayash said. “Our mission is to help create valuable fine young people who can contribute toward a valuable, fine society.”

When Powers received information about SAGE she decided that the contest would be a good opportunity for her students to consider ways of positively influencing the world. Power’s students wrote about different ideas or helpful deeds they had accomplished in the past.

One of the essays her students wrote was about setting a good example by picking up trash in the neighborhood. Another student wrote about making a commitment through the silver ring club at her church, Powers said.

“I almost cried when I found out we had so many winners,” Powers said. “The students really deserved it because they worked so hard and it’s not often that they get recognized.”

SAGE Club is currently planning a presentation for the winners, which will take place in Knoxville, Ayash said.

“There is no specific date set at the moment [for the presentation]. We are in communication with the Knoxville mayor and the Knox County mayor as well,” Ayash said. “They are being asked to present medals to the seven contest winners.”

The winners from Power’s class include three students in the 12-14 age bracket. Eliza Rowcliffe received the Tennessee gold medal, Payton Walker received the Tennessee bronze medal, and Marissa Bradford received the Knoxville bronze medal.

Four students in the class medaled in the 9-11 age bracket. Katie Marshall received the Knoxville bronze medal, Rachel Ramsay received the Tennessee bronze medal, Megan McClure received the Tennessee silver medal, and Adrienne Parrott received the regional bronze medal.


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