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Matilda Joslyn Gage Center celebrates essay contest winners

Diane Green, Gage Education Committee chair (far left) and Sally Roesch Wagner, Matilda Joslyn Gage Center executive director (far right) with elementary school winners, from left: Morgan Foland, Allyson Isereau and Alyssa Harrell.

Diane Green, Gage Education Committee chair (far left) and Sally Roesch Wagner, Matilda Joslyn Gage Center executive director (far right) with elementary school winners, from left: Morgan Foland, Allyson Isereau and Alyssa Harrell. Provided

— On Mar. 24, the 186th Birthday of Matilda Joslyn Gage, students from six Central New York Schools were honored for their entries to the Gage Essay contests for 2011-12.

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Green and Wagner with high school winners, from left: Eric Spero, Tom Schneible and Brianna Suslovic.

Thirty-five participating students, in three levels of competition, were asked to learn something about Gage’s work and to apply it to their lives or to current event issues. Gage was a remarkable local 19th Century woman who dedicated her life to abolition, women’s rights, Native American sovereignty, separation of church and state, and the utopian vision of Oz. These fives themes are illustrated in the museum recently opened in her former home at 210 E. Genessee St. in Fayetteville.

Entries came from East Syracuse-Minoa, Jamesville-Dewitt, Fayetteville-Manlius and Nottingham high schools, as well as Wellwood Middle School and Brewerton Elementary. International and national entries from as far away as Macedonia and Connecticut were also submitted.

All participants and their parents were invited to a tour of the Gage Center by a costumed Matilda enacted by Pam Poulin, an awards ceremony and the celebration of Gage’s birthday with cake and song.

Hristina Nilolovska won the Gage International Essay Award while teachers Don Little and Sean Martin, along with Nottingham student essayists, won an award “in recognition of their outstanding work in spreading a greater appreciation of Matilda Joslyn Gage and her relevance to our society today.” Nottingham was a new school to the contest and had the most essay entries.

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Green and Wagner with middle school winners, from left: Katie Neuburger and Anya Greenberg.

The winners of the elementary contest were from Jennifer Schantz’s fourth grade class at Brewerton. Morgan Foland won first place, Alyssa Harrell won second place, and third place went to Allyson Isereau.

The winners of the middle school contest were from JoAnn Harrod’s eighth grade class at Wellwood Middle School. First place went to Katie Neuburger, and second place went to Anya Greenberg.

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