WINONA, Minn. — Each year students at Winona schools submit essays that reflect on the values, ideals and principles that mean the most to them in the annual Laws of Life essay contest, organized by Saint Mary’s University and sponsored by Winona-area businesses and organizations.
Winners of individual categories — announced April 22 — receive cash and or varying-level renewable scholarships to Saint Mary's.
The Laws of Life Essay Contest was founded in 1987 by Sir John Templeton of the John Templeton Foundation. This foundation is committed to advancing a broad spectrum of activities, including studies, award programs and publications that promote the character development of young people in secondary schools, colleges, and universities.
In 1996, William Schuler approached Saint Mary's University to begin this contest at Winona Senior High and Cotter High School. This event is made possible with his help, and the help of many other generous supporters — including Merchants Bank, William and Barbara Schuler, Junto Club, American Legion Post No. 9, Dr. Thomas and Leone Mauszycki, Dr. Roger and Peggy Zehren, Fred Fletcher and Shelly Smith-Fletcher, Zehren Dental (Dr. Peter and Kimberly Zehren), Neil and Ann Sawyer, the Winona Area Retired Educators Association and Fred and Marilyn Foss.
This year's Laws of Life essay contest winners, their schools and their awards are:
• Platinum — Katie Harbinson, Cotter High School ($1,000 cash and a $3,000 scholarship).
• Gold — Da Som Ahn, Cotter ($400 cash and a $2,000 scholarship).
• Silver — Ji Won Lee, Cotter; Ethan Kastello, Winona Senior High School; and Shaina Laska, Hope Lutheran High School ($200 cash and a $1,000 scholarship).
• Blue ribbon awards — Ryan Residence and Stefani Schmidt, WSHS; Sarah Degallier and Anna Rose Beilfuss, Hope Lutheran; and Richard Han, Ye Jin Kang, Sean O’Reilly and Michaela Zeller, Cotter ($100 cash prize).
• English class awards — Mackenzie Brosnahan, Taehwan Kim, Yi Chen and Jeff Severson, Cotter ; and Lacey Ellinghuysen, Hope Lutheran ($50 savings bond from Merchants National Bank).
Judges for this year’s event included: Maxine Aldinger, James Armstrong, Jerome Christenson, Dr. William Davis, Christy DeRuyter, Dan Hall, Elise Johnson, Kristina Anderson, Peggy Johnson, Lindsey Lehmkuhl and Patrick Marek.