Westerville Middle School Students Excel in Laws of Life Essay Contest

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Pictured left to right:  Brian Hanson, Columbus Blue Jackets and Ohio Statehouse Chaplain; Janice Hill, Walnut Springs teacher; Emily Voneman, Central Ohio Best Overall Essay winner; and  Roberta Camp-Albert, Program Director, Center for Character Ethics, BBB Central Ohio. (Photo supplied by the Better Business Bureau serving Central Ohio).



All four Westerville middle schools participated in the 2017 Central Ohio Better Business Bureau Laws of Life Essay Contest.  The competition celebrates essays written about core values by middle school students in a 22-county Central Ohio area.

State finalists, along with their teachers and families, were invited to an Awards Banquet on May 16 at the Wendy’s Company in Dublin.  Finalists were:

  • Emily Voneman, Walnut Springs, earned the Central Ohio Best Overall Essay award.  Voneman shared her essay (Fear of Failure) with the audience and received $500.  Janice Hill is her teacher.
  • Issabella Mecurio, Walnut Springs, received Best 8th Grade Essay and $100. She is also taught by Janice Hill.
  • Donovan Varney, Blendon, placed second for Best 7th Grade Essay and received $75.  His teacher is Julie Warner.
  • Lauryn Swanson, a 6th grader at Heritage Middle School, took Best Female Essay and the $150 prize. Mary Schade is her teacher.
  • Eighth grade Genoa student Brendan Leonard won second place in the Special-Themed Essay category and $75.  In his paper, he answered the question, “Who is your hero?”  Brandy Spears teaches Leonard.

The Laws of Life Essay Contest, created in 1987 by Sir John Templeton, inspires young people of all backgrounds and abilities to focus on their values and principles by challenging students to discover through reflection and writing the principles, people, and experiences that have helped to shape their life.  The contest offers students the opportunity to take a stand for what they believe in. The Ohio Laws of Life contest began in 2001 and is supported by The John Templeton Foundation, Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc., Wendy’s, The Walker Family, and the English Family Foundation.  The Central Ohio Better Business Bureau Center for Character Ethics coordinates judging of the contest and sponsors the awards banquet and prizes. For more information, please visit www.bbb.org/centralohio/laws-of-life