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State House Essay Contest Winners Named

The New Hampshire State House Bicentennial Commission issued citations and awards to 23 students

CONCORD, NH – Numerous Granite State students received certificates and awards on May 16, 2018, as part of the bicentennial celebration of the New Hampshire State House. Next year, the State House turns 200 and students have been invited to participate in the festivities. Last year, the New Hampshire State House Bicentennial Commission held a poster contest; in 2019, it will be a multi-media art contest. This year, students were invited to share their thoughts, in essay form, about the State House and its meaning today.

The entries were submitted regionally and judges – including court justices, executive councilors, and others – reviewed 113 contributions from students; 23 were issued awards and citations for their work.

On Wednesday, many of the students were at the State House to receive the awards from Gov. Chris Sununu and Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. Also in attendance were parents, school officials, House Speaker Gene Chandler, New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Lynn, state Rep. Renny Cushing, the chairman of commission, all five executive councilors, current House Clerk Paul Smith, Karen Wadsworth, the retired house clerk, as well as others.

“The commission essay contest awards were not just a historic event for the students,” said Stephen Berwick of the New Hampshire Department of Education, the org’s appointee to the commission. “It was a historic event for the state – it was only the second time all of the state’s top officials signed citations together. The citation, each time, was to reward excellent students.”

Three winners were selected from each age group (elementary, middle, and high school); others were awarded citations for their submissions.

Winners, High School
1st: Adelaide Canney, Pinkerton Academy, Derry
2nd: Cam Magner, Timberlane High School, Plaistow
3rd: Jillian LeVeille, Bedford High School, Bedford

Winners, Middle School
1st: Frank Zhou, Ross A. Lurgio Middle School, Bedford
2nd: James Collins, Timberlane Regional Middle School, Plaistow
3rd: Erin Stevens, Hudson Middle School, Hudson

Winners, Elementary School
1st: Michael Chambers, Atkinson Academy, Atkinson
2nd: Colin McCarthy, Memorial Elementary School, Bedford
3rd: Hunter LeBlanc, Compass Classical Academy, Franklin

Citations Winners
Madeline Cole, Memorial Elementary School, Bedford
Aribella Medbery, Richards Elementary School, Newport
Isabelle Leite, Hillside Elementary School, Berlin
Megan Knall, Hillside Elementary School, Berlin
Leo Zheng, Hillside Elementary School, Berlin
Emma Davidson, Compass Classical Academy, Franklin
Christopher Ingham, Compass Classical Academy, Franklin
Nathaniel Johnson, Beech Hill School, Hopkinton
Collin Atwell, Beech Hill School, Hopkinton
Nathaniel Decker, Beech Hill School, Hopkinton
Gregory Peter Watson, Beech Hill School, Hopkinton
Teirra Walsh, Compass Classical Academy, Franklin
Elizabeth St. Cyr, Compass Classical Academy, Franklin
Hennessy Goodwin, Compass Classical Academy, Franklin

Upcoming Statehouse Bicentennial Events
On July 14, the Toast to the Eagle will be reenacted (the original ceremony was held in July 1818, to toast the golden wooden “war” eagle being installed on top of the building.

This fall, the Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in the Senate chambers where it met in the 1800s. A similar event will be held in 2019, too.

The multi-media art contest will begin taking submissions regionally this fall. Judging will be held in April 2019.

The celebration week activities will be held from June 2, to June 8, 2019.

For more information about the New Hampshire State House Bicentennial Commission, visit

View more photos on the NH DOE Facebook site,

picture of Governor  Sununu and Frank Edleblut, Education Commissioner; and the Statehouse Essay Contest Winners

Granite State students were feted by Gov. Chris Sununu, New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, and other dignitaries at the State House on May 15, 2018, as part of the New Hampshire State House Bicentennial’s 2018 essay contest.

New Hampshire Department of Education
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