American Education Week

2016-2017 American Education Essay Contest

Every year in celebration of American Education Week the Carlisle Area School District sponsors an essay contest for students in grades 4-12. Each winner receives a $10 gift certificate to Whistlestop Bookshop, a bronze medallion and their name inscribed on the winner plaque which hangs in the central administration office.

This year's essay prompts were:


Public education in Carlisle started 180 years ago and has a long history of helping its individual students. Write an essay in which you explain what happens in your public school to help you as a learner and as a person.

Middle School:

Public education in Carlisle started 180 years ago. Alice Butcher taught school in Carlisle's elementary schools for 43 years and was a graduate of Carlisle High School and of the Dickinson College Preparatory College. Alice was an African American whose parents were slaves in Virginia and gained their freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Neither of her parents could read or write but they made sure that all 14 of their children understood the value of education. Alice had experience in schools where both black and while children attended school together. Butcher's story highlights the direct and positive impacts that education has on student's future. Write an essay in which you explore how your education will open doors to your future.

High School:

Public education in Carlisle started 180 years ago. Emma T. McGowan, an African America woman who taught for 30 years in Carlisle's segregated "colored schools," was born in 1876 and was the oldest of 16 children whose parents were slaves. Her father served in the Union Army as an ammunition boy before receiving carpentry training. She began her teaching career in Carlisle in 1896. McGowan once wrote, "To be well-educated does not consist of mental training only, but the heart and hand should be trained as well." Write an essay in which you explore what Emma T. McGowan means when she says that "the heart and the hand should be trained as well." Provide evidence from your educational career where you have seen this philosophy at work.

Below are the winning essays to download and read:

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