2007 Essay Contests

2007 CFOG Essay Contest Press Release

Students from eight high schools across the state won prizes in the eighth annual Connecticut Foundation for Open Government high school essay contest that drew a record 155 entries.

The top prize of $1,000 named in honor of Edward W. Frede, late editor of The News-Times in Danbury, went to Sean Gantwerker, a Ridgefield High School junior.

Directors of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government (CFOG)  voted to name the first place prize in honor of Mr. Frede, a long time editor of The News-Times and a CFOG officer before his death last year.

The second place prize of $500 went to Colleen Wilson, a senior at East Lyme High School. The third place prize of $300 was won by Julien Lasseur, a senior at Housatonic Regional High School.

Honorable mention awards of $50 each went to Ryan Skukowski, a student at Enfield High School; Angela Finn, a student at Westhill High School in Stamford; Justine Monti , a student at New London, High School; Lorena Lima, a student at West Haven High School and Dan Catalano, a student Danbury High School.

Announcement of the prizes was made by Janet Manko, president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government and publisher of The Lakeville Journal. Ms. Manko said the Foundation sponsors this annual high school essay contest in an effort to get students thinking about open government problems facing the nation today and in the future.

Students in this year’s contest were asked to write an essay on one of three topics. The topics were:

1. The news media has many critics, and one of the main complaints is that journalists trample too much on personal privacy. Is there a difference to the right of privacy of elected officials, celebrities and ordinary citizens? Is so, why?

2. You are the editor of a newspaper. Your reporters have                documented that an FBI team has been conducting a narcotics investigation using wiretaps and searches of private homes without obtaining a warrant from a judge as required by law. You feel strongly that the public has a right to know that the FBI has been violating the law but a high ranking FBI official has called you and said publication of the story will prevent the breaking up of a major drug ring. Should or shouldn’t you publish the story and why?

3. Many countries require mandatory civic service for young citizens. Should there be some sort of compulsory service, military or civilian, for all people over the age of 18 in the United States.

Two of the top prize winners, Ganwerker and Lasseur wrote their essays on the FBI and the Press. Ms. Wilson wrote her essay on mandatory civic service.

For more information on the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government go to www.cfog.org.

Topic: Mystery and Danger in Emma

Students were asked to address one of the following questions.

  1. Emma is often identified as a forerunner of mystery novels because of the clues and revelations it contains, among them Jane Fairfax's secret engagement to Frank Churchill and Mr. Knightley's long-unadmitted love for Emma. In addition to these crucial discoveries, this novel resolves a number of more minor mysteries (e.g., Harriet's parentage and Frank's trip to London for a haircut). Analyze the effect of one or more "minor mysteries" in Emma. Secrets that, in your view, Austen doesn't fully explain may be the most rewarding to explore.
  2. The novel Emma takes place entirely in the quiet village of Highbury, among settled country neighbors; readers might naturally expect to find descriptions of "safety" and "security" throughout the narrative. Surprisingly, events and emotions featuring "danger," "pain," and "risk" actually occur more frequently in the novel. Discuss the ways in which a character or characters from Emma pose danger to each other, avoiding the obvious (Emma's relationship to Harriet Smith, for example) in favor of the unexpected.

NOTE: Only first-place essays were published online prior to 2012.

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