“Celebrate America”: 2012 Winners Announced
Winners in a fifth-grade writing contest will be recognized at a naturalization ceremony on May 21.
In the public school category, the winners are from the Kids Involvement Network, a program sponsored by the North East Independent School District (NEISD) that provides after‐school enrichment activities and supervision for elementary and middle school students. 2011‐2012 marked the program’s first entries in the contest, and three KIN students placed among the winners:
* First Place: Amy Robinson
* Second Place: Francesca Baldwin
* Third Place: Sofia Castro
The private school winners are from Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, a perennial supporter of the competition. Dawn Cortez, a teacher at the school, uses the contest as part of her curriculum, and in 2011‐2012, the entire fifth‐grade class submitted entries. From that class, three winners were selected:
* First Place: Jaden Green
* Second Place: Serina Leon
* Third Place: Chris Garza
These students, as determined by a panel of judges, best expressed the contest's theme, "Why I Am Glad America Is A Nation of Immigrants". Judges included Joseph B. De Mott, a founding partner in the law firm De Mott, McChesney, Curtright, and Armendariz; Tino Duran, Publisher & Owner of La Prensa and Director of La Prensa Foundation, Inc.; and Javier Roman, co‐owner of Worldwide Languages & Communication, LLC, a language and culture translation service provider.
The winning students will be recognized at a naturalization ceremony, taking place at 2pm on Monday, May 21, at Laurie Auditorium (715 Stadium Drive, on the campus of Trinity University), where, at the invitation of U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo, they will present their entries before an audience of new American citizens; their prizes will also include cash grants, and special anniversary Statue of Liberty mementos.
"2011 marked the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty," De Mott explains. "And these students did a fantastic job of expressing what that statue means: the idea of the United States as a nation built on the contributions of immigrants from all cultures, all walks of life."