Caitlyn Hayes won first place in this year’s Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS) Essay Contest.
The essay contest was held for local fifth graders attending Washington Court House City Schools, Miami Trace Local Schools, and Fayette Christian. The topic for the essays was “why pets are special.”
Hayes is a student at Washington Court House City Schools’ (WCHCS) Belle Aire Intermediate.
Runner-ups for the contest included WCHCS students Connor Stone and Kylie Yeazel as well as Miami Trace student Elizabeth Webb.
According to WCHCS Director of Marketing and Communications Trevor Pattion, as a prize, each student received a copy of Animal Ark — a National Geographic Kids book.
“The essays were all read by retired school teachers, and I picked the winner and four runners-up from the top essays chosen by the teachers,” explained Lee Schrader, executive director of FRHS.
Those retired teachers who worked hard to score the essays were Fonda Fichthorn, Dr. Marlene Bireley and Dr. Norma Kirby, according to Schrader.
Initially, the top winner of the contest was supposed to read their essay at this year’s Fur Ball.
The Fur Ball is the largest fundraiser FRHS has every year. Due to the pandemic, the Fur Ball was cancelled.
Since the event was cancelled, a different way was found to honor the top winners of the contest. A link is available on the FRHS website, www.fayetteregionalhumane.org/, to a video of Hayes reading her first-place essay as well as links to read the other top essays.
“All the essays were wonderful and said so much about the importance of animals in our lives. We are so thankful for the fifth grade teachers in all the schools who participated and for all the children who wrote essays,” explained Schrader. “We plan to continue the essay contest every year. Next year at the Fur Ball in March, we hope that the winner will be reading their essay in person!”
The following quote was submitted to the Record-Herald in a press release from Patton:
“I’m so proud of these three (Belle Aire) students and each one of them is so deserving. Caitlyn, Kylie and Connor are beautiful writers who are always engaged in class, asking for and open to feedback, and not afraid to add their own creative touch,” said Dawn Anderson, fifth grade teacher at Belle Aire. “Our Belle Aire teachers are pretty proud of these kids. Great job Caitlyn, Kylie and Connor for sharing your talent with us and representing our district well. Go Blue!”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.