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Students Win Elks Essay Contest

Two St. Francis junior high students were recently notified that they were winners in the Goodland Elks Essay Contest. Sixth grader Rian Zimbal won first place in Division I (5th and 6th grades) and 8th grader Jasper Hunt placed second in Division II (7th and 8th grades). The two students will receive an award and a check for their accomplishment. The students' essays were written as an assignment in Traci Price's English class on the Americanism topic of "Why Is It Important to Vote?"

Below is a list of the Division winners and their awards.

Division Place Name School

Division I

(5th & 6th


1st Rian Zimbal St. Francis #297
2nd Briella Rubio Goodland #352
3rd Jaron Owens Goodland #352

Division II

(7th & 8th


1st Grace Wright Cheylin #103
2nd Jasper Hunt St. Francis #297
3rd Leyton Cure Goodland #352


First place winners will receive $50, 2nd place $25, and 3rd place $15 in each division. The certificates and checks will be awarded later this spring. 

The essays written by these six students have been forwarded on for judging at the District level. District level judging has not yet taken place.

The essays written by the two St. Francis winners are reproduced below for your reading enjoyment.


Why is It Important to Vote?

by Rian Zimbal

Do Americans ever think why it is important to vote? In America it is important to vote. If citizens do not vote locally it is going to make a big difference. Everyone needs to vote. It is a responsibility not just a right. We should have a say in our leaders.

When considering if Americans should vote or not, think what would happen if the person they do not like was elected. Even if everyone votes, the person they did not want might still win, but their vote will still count. With all of these thoughts, everyone should decide to vote. Americans should come to this decision because it would not be fair to the person they would vote for or the people that are voting for that person if someone does not vote.

It is everyone's right to vote. If someone does not vote their opinion goes to waste. If Americans are thinking that one vote will not make a difference, then think of everyone that is not voting. About forty-two percent of Americans do not vote for a president every four years according to Google. This means that only about fifty-eight percent of Americans do vote. Think of what an impact it would make if every American votes. It would make a colossal difference. If we do not all vote then we will not get every American's opinion.

You need to vote because it will make a difference if we do not vote. The size of the difference depends on if the poll is local, state or nationally. We should get every American's opinion. Americans should vote because it is a responsibility not a right. We should have a say in our leaders.



Why Is it Important to Vote?

By Jasper Hunt

"My vote is my voice...and the voice of all who struggles, so that I may have my voice," Lydia C. Obasi. It is important for everybody in the Unites States to vote. The right to vote is given to all Americans who are of age to make their own choices. Voting began when the nation was thirteen small colonies fighting for their independence against England. They made decisions that we can make today. Without voting, no American could voice their opinion about certain issues.

For example, people have always wondered why voting is important. This question has been asked for over two-hundred years. It is important that we can make decisions on certain issues. We vote for who will be the new leader of this country. We decide on federal , state, and local government in a short period of time. Some people may say, "Why should I vote if my opinion does not matter?" The answer is: yes it does. It could be someones vote that can tip the scale on major issues. It takes you five to ten minutes to vote, in that time we can make decisions that can change the course of the lives of over 300 million people. We would live in chaos without voting. Without it, we could not voice our opinions or make decisions. Be grateful that we can make the decisions ourselves. Would we rather live in a monarchy where our lives are decided by a select group of people?

Without voting, no American could voice their opinion about certain issues. We would live in chaos without voting. Be grateful that you can make the decisions yourself. You can make decisions that can change the course of the lives of over 300 million people. 


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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

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