The Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan invites high school seniors to submit essays proposing their plans for improving the American educational system.
Margaret Chase Smith, former Maine U.S. Representative (1940-1949) and U.S. Senator (1949-1973), was the first woman to represent Maine in either house of the U.S. Congress. Smith’s first job after graduating from Skowhegan High School in 1916 was as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in her hometown. She lasted one year—long enough to realize how difficult teaching was and that she was not cut out for the profession.
Essays must be typed and double-spaced. Contestants must provide contact information. There is no minimum or maximum length requirement—quality of evidence, argumentation, and writing is more important than quantity of words. The best essays support personal opinions with historical context and cited facts.
Prizes of $1,000 for first place; $500 for second place; $250 for third place; and five $50 honorable mentions will be awarded. Essays are due by April 1, 2013, with announcement of winners on May 1. Entries or questions may be submitted to Dr. David Richards, Margaret Chase Smith Library, 56 Norridgewock Avenue, Skowhegan, ME 04976, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.