Nebo Student Wins State Essay on Vice Presidential Debate

Submitted by lana.hiskey on Wed, 10/07/2020 - 16:57

Congratulations to Nebo’s student, Brecklynn Brown, an eighth-grade student at Springville Junior High, who won first place in her age group. Thank you to her history teacher, Amy Burge, for encouraging and inspiring her students to submit their essays. 

For the first time in Utah’s history, a vice presidential debate will be coming to the Beehive State. In preparation for this first ever vice presidential debate in Utah, the Utah Debate Commission worked with the Utah State Board of Education to hold a statewide essay contest. Utah students were invited to submit essays consisting of 300 words or less answering the question: “If you could ask the vice presidential candidates one question, what would you ask and why?” More than 700 essays were submitted and judged by the Utah Debate Commission, teachers, and volunteers from University of Utah.

"When I saw the contest, I thought it was perfect.  First, it was an opportunity for my students to really think about what is important to them, and second, it was an authentic writing experience where they had a chance to get their voices heard, and finally, it was a chance to be civically engaged," said Amy Burge. "I love Brecklynn's question, and I am looking forward to watching the debate tonight and having Kamala Harris and Mike Pence both answer what they will do to unite and heal our country."

Brecklynn's essay:
“When I watch the news, all I see is arguing between Democrats and Republicans. When I watch the news, all I see is citizen fighting against citizen. When I watch the news, all I see are two candidates from opposing parties trying to tear each other down.

“If our leaders can’t get along, how are the citizens supposed to get along? Our nation’s capital is setting a poor example of unity and respect. No matter who we are and what we stand for, we all want to be heard and we all want to be acknowledged, but no one wants to listen or understand the person on the other side of the line. 

“Nothing is going to change until someone breaks this trend of arguments and anger. Each citizen is accountable, and each citizen has their agency to not allow our country to be divided by differing opinions. 

“Your examples could make all the difference to bring us together. How is your presidency going to unite and heal our country?”

#BeTheMagic #NeboHero #NeboSchoolDistrict #StudentSuccess #EmpowerStudents #EngageStudents #FocusOnStudents #LoveUTpublicSchools #UtPol #UtEd #ThankATeacher #LoveTeaching #covid19 #staywellnebo

By Lana Hiskey
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