North Branford Student Is Winner of Law Day Essay Competition
Attorney General George Jepsen today congratulated 8th-grade student Zelda Galdenzi, 13, of North Branford Intermediate School for writing the top essay in the 21st annual Law Day essay competition sponsored by the Office of the Attorney General.
The competition was open to all Connecticut 8th grade students who were asked to write a persuasive essay on the topic: “Should government ban sugary drinks? Why or why not?” Nearly 300 students statewide participated.
Zelda, a student of Carol Papa, concluded that "people should be able to be in charge of their own health … there are alternate ways to keep people healthy other than banning these drinks or controlling how much people consume."
Using blind judging, a panel of 10 judges selected the top three essays statewide, as well as winners by county. Attorney General Jepsen will present a certificate to the winner at a later date. The statewide and county-winning essays are also posted at the Attorney General’s Web site
“It is never too early to engage in the discussion about public policy,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “Critical thinking and analytical writing are important skills for students to develop. I commend the students who participated and their teachers for encouraging those efforts.”
The statewide winners also included in 2nd place, Sarah Smart, 14, of Bi-Cultural Day School, Stamford, teacher Leah Perl; and 3rd place, Sarah Cusano, 13, of Granby Memorial Middle School, teacher Grace Janelli.
Selected as county winners were: Fairfield County: Sarah Smart, Bi-Cultural Day School, Stamford; Hartford County: Sarah Cusano, Granby Memorial Middle School; Litchfield County: Timothy O'Meara, 14, The Gilbert School, Winsted, teacher Charles Harbach; Middlesex County: Kyle Cook, 14, Independent Day School, Middlefield, teacher Martha Ficke; New Haven County: Makayla Harrison, 13, North Branford Intermediate School, teacher Carol Papa; New London County: Elizabeth Martens, 13, Wheeler Middle School, North Stonington, teachers Marc Tardiff and Britney Hattoy; and Tolland County: Devon O'Connell, 14, Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School, Coventry, teacher Dale Maxwell. Windham County: No entries were submitted.
The judges included: Michael L. Anderson, Anderson Law Firm, P.C., Norwich; Thomas Hennick, public education officer, Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission; Bernard Kavaler, managing principal, Express Strategies, Hartford; Ravi Shankar, chairman, Connecticut Young Writers Trust and English professor, Central Connecticut State University; Susan Schoenberger, author and director of communications, Hartford Seminary; Bill Seymour, director of communications, Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles; Susan Tukey of East Hartford; John C. Turner, Jr., The Law Office of John C. Turner, Jr., LLC of Trumbull; Emily Westerberg, executive secretary to the Attorney General and Susan E. Kinsman, Esq., senior policy advisor to the Attorney General.
Jaclyn M. Falkowski