Hailing the balance of separated, enumerated powers for the federal government while states retain their voices, Lake Myrtle Elementary's Taylor Schamaun's essay emerged as the winner of the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller's Sixth Annual Constitution Essay Contest.
Responding to the prompt, "Why is the Constitution important?" Taylor laid out a point-by-point argument for the excellence of our founding document.
"[C]ertain protections were written into the Constitution to stop a government takeover from happening. The Government was divided into three branches so that no one branch would have too much control. Each branch can check and balance the other branches to make sure the power they have is not too much."
In his second-place entry, Oakstead Elementary's Nathan Grob touted the Constitution for its guarantees of free speech and universal suffrage.
Third-place essayist Alex Coloyan, from Longleaf Elementary, praised the Constitution's contribution to "an effective and stable form of government" as "one of the most important documents in history."
Honorable mention essayists: Abbey Tesh, Hannah Whelan, Eric Bazaria (Wesley Chapel); Alexandria Csuhai, Nicholas Campbell, Olivia Grob, Elias Watson, Taelor Stevens (Oakstead); Cali Lopez (Lake Myrtle); Evan Davis, Isabella Best (Longleaf); Jamie Kessler, Madison Smith (Cotee River); Vanessa Bandini (Calusa).
A record 113 Pasco County fifth-graders, representing all school choices (public, charter, private, parochial, home-school) entered this year’s contest.
Three professional writer-editors – Mary McCoy, Saint Leo University; Gail Diederich, Tampa Bay Times; Tom Jackson, Office of Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller – judged the essays with all identifying information removed.