For weeks, the middle school students wrote diligently on an important topic that is often taken for granted: the conservation of soil and water. The reason for this focus was the annual Soil and Water Conservation District’s essay and speech competition; this year’s theme was “Soil and Water…Yours for Life”, and the kids, though not necessary exhilarated by the topic, did have to agree that without soil and water, our world would cease to exist.
The facts were easy enough to find, but what the students spent much time on was putting a fresh spin on those facts and making their essays or speeches stand out from the rest of the competition. For three of our students, this work paid off. Jugded by a panel from New Hanover County’s Soil and Water Conservation District, Farhan Sanukri (6th grade essay), Ian Peplow (7th grade speech), and Sebastian Zagler (8th grade speech) won not only at the school level, but at the district level where their work was compared to submissions from up to six neighboring counties. Additionally, Ian Peplow won at the area level contest (twelve counties participate in the area level). At the area competition, people told Mrs. Puritis-Pulley how impressed they were by the speeches, and how both boys “thought outside the box” and really “blew the competition away”. She is incredibly proud of all of the students for their hard work, and excited to see what the state level competition will hold for Ian!