CCUSD students win 2018 Polly Rosenbaum Creative Writing Contest


CAVE CREEK – Sonoran Trails Middle School(STMS) 8th grade student, Sophia Barnedo, took first place in the 2018 Polly Rosenbaum Creative Writing Contest that is organized by the Arizona Educational Foundation.  She won with her original poem entitled "Respect."

"We're so proud of Sophia for giving voice to an important topic in today's tense political climate," said Shelley Kniffen, a STMS English teacher.

Cactus Shadows High School (CSHS) freshmen Brooklyn Presta took second place, and Emma Arias, took third place in the category for the ninth and tenth graders; and juniors, Rena Jakway, placed second, and Natasha Jarik took 3rd place in the category for grades 11 and 12.

"The topic this year, ‘What is the importance of civility in civic discourse,’ was so poignant, and it challenged the students to think about civic discourse in their own lives and in the broader society,” said Christine Marsh, CSHS English teacher and Arizona's 2016 Teacher of the Year.

“Many of the essays from Cactus Shadows students were powerful, but four winning essays were especially insightful and creative. Most adults could learn something from our bright young students," she said.

All students were recognized at a special event at the Arizona State Capitol on February 14.  First place winners received a $50 gift certificate and had the opportunity to read their winning submission out loud at the event.  Second place winners received a $25 gift certificate; and third place winners received a $15 gift certificate.

Each year the Arizona Educational Foundation establishes a theme for the Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest, which is named for Polly Rosenbaum, a former House Representative in the Arizona State Legislature and teacher, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 104. This writing contest is a long-standing tradition honoring Mrs. Rosenbaum, who believed Arizona's young people are the state's greatest resource.

Congratulations Sophia, Brooklyn, Emma, Rena and Natasha!