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Student winners of MLK poster-essay contest to be honored

January 05, 2010

Twenty-four schoolchildren from around the state have won awards in ASU’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. poster-essay contest. They will receive savings bonds and prize ribbons from ASU President Michael Crow at a celebration breakfast Jan. 19 at the Student Union Ballroom of the Polytechnic campus.

Eugene Grigsby Jr., legendary artist and educator who has devoted his life to inspiring and uplifting others, will be awarded the university’s 2010 Servant Leadership Award. Dominick Hernandez, a senior majoring in business, will receive the student Servant Leadership Award.

All the winning posters will be displayed at the event, and four children will read their first-place essays to the group. Also invited to the awards ceremony are their parents and teachers. About 1,700 children entered the contest, each describing someone they know who leads through service to others.

The posters are on display on the first floor of Fletcher Library at the West campus. The posters may be viewed online at The winning essays are at More information on the celebration is at

The contest categories are primary, grades K-2; intermediate, grades 3-5; middle, grades 6-8; and secondary, grades 9-12. Following is a list of winners.

Mesa – The primary poster category was swept by second graders from Franklin Northeast Elementary: Haley Bateman won first place; Dewey Juers, second; and Isabella Moya, third. Three other students from Franklin Northeast won in the essay competition: Cannon Hill, second grader, won second place in the primary category; and Tristyn Graham and Gillian Coyle, both fifth graders, won second and third place, respectively, in the intermediate category.

Scottsdale – The middle school poster category was dominated by seventh graders from Ingleside Middle School: Jasmine Macko won first place; Ethan Smith, second; and Sarah Phillips, third. Scottsdale students also won in the middle school essay category: Katherine Divall, eighth grade, from Mountainside Middle, received first place; Hillary Hurd, eighth grade, also from Mountainside Middle, second; and Madeline Juetten, seventh grade, from Ingleside Middle, third. Jesse Bass and Rebecca Cohen-Perez, sophomores at Chaparral High School, won first and third place, respectively, in the secondary essay competition.

Phoenix – Three Cartwright District students from Manuel Pena Elementary won awards: Allison Mooney, fourth grade, won first place essay in the intermediate category. Karen Ortez, fourth grade, won second place poster; and Nestor Figueroa, fifth grade, received third place poster, both in the intermediate category.

Gilbert – Will Leinart, a home-schooled fifth grader, won first place poster in the intermediate category. Two second graders from Bios Christian Academy won in the primary essay category: Savanna Dudas, first; and Isabella VanSlyke, third. Sharmishtha Wanage, sophomore at Gilbert Early College, won second place essay in the secondary category.

Tucson – Leah Edwards, senior at University High, won first place poster, and Charlene Kim, junior at Catalina Foothills High, won third place poster, both in the secondary category.

Prescott Valley – Cory Walker, freshman at Bradshaw Mountain High in the Humboldt Unified District, won second place in the secondary poster category.