Essay Contest Press Release

2016 Charter Schools Essay Contest Winners Announced

1st Place Winners from Oakland County and Kent County

May 5, 2016
Contact: Don Cooper

For Immediate Release
(989) 317-3510

The National Charter School Institute is proud of the thousands of students who annually attend charter schools throughout Michigan, and of the thousands of parents, teachers, school leaders, and charter school board members who are hard at work each day to help kids succeed.

In celebration of National Charter Schools Week (May 1 through 7) and to encourage charter school students to show pride in their schools and show the positive, transformative impact charter schools are having on children every day, the Institute sponsored a statewide essay contest. The theme of the 2016 essay contest was “What My Charter School Means to Me.” More than 200 students from every corner of the state submitted essays.

“I was so proud of each and every student who submitted an essay,” said James N. Goenner, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Institute. “It’s clear these kids put a ton of effort into this and took this contest seriously. The essays were moving and they inspired our hearts and minds. These essays are further proof of the positive impact of charters in Michigan.”

The contest was open to students in middle school and high school. The Institute invited each student to tell their story and share what their charter school means to them. Prizes were awarded for the first, second, and third place winners in middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) divisions. First place winners of each division will be invited to Lansing for special recognition.

High school winners are:

  Student School Authorizer City
1st Place: Abby Marshall Grand River Prep. High School Grand Valley State University Kentwood
2nd Place Brogen Harger Charlton Heston Academy Lake Superior State University St. Helen
3rd Place Jasmine Teutsch Insight School of Michigan Central Michigan University Online

“On behalf of Grand Valley State University and its Charter School Office, please allow all of us to congratulate Abby Marshall from Grand River Prep High School in Kentwood on her first place finish in the National Charter School Institute’s essay contest,” said Timothy H. Wood, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Charter Schools, Grand Valley State University. “We are sure this award is but her first step in a wonderful career in college and beyond. All the best from Grand Valley.”

Middle School winners are:

  Student School Authorizer City
1st Place Audrey Broadwater Holly Academy Central Michigan University Holly
2nd Place Moneebah Ashraf Central Academy Central Michigan University Ann Arbor
3rd Place Christopher Mangrum Metro Charter Academy Grand Valley State University Romulus

“Every student has a unique story and it’s exciting to get a glimpse into the positive impact that charter schools have on their lives,” said Cindy Schumacher, the Executive Director of The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University. “During National Charter Schools Week, it is important to recognize the efforts of everyone involved in charter schools, but we must remain focused on what is most important – students. Congratulations to all of the students who participated and for those who were recognized, especially Audrey Broadwater at Holly Academy for her accomplishment.”

First place winners received $500 and a trophy. The middle school winner will be invited to a special lunch with House Education Chair Amanda Price and the high school winner will be invited to a special lunch with Senate Education Chair Phil Pavlov.

Second place winners received: $250 and a trophy.

Third place winners received: $100 and a certificate of recognition.

Entries were reviewed by a panel of qualified judges. Winners were selected based on the originality of their theme; how clearly the theme was expressed; and adherence to rules of grammar, punctuation, and style. Copies of the winning essays are available at

About the National Charter Schools Institute. The National Charter Schools Institute’s mission is to transform public education and power performance, productivity and accountability breakthroughs that help people win for kids. To do this, the Institute provides a range of training and support for people and organizations in the charter schools movement—from policymakers to authorizers to school operators—who strive to achieve greatness. The Institute’s premier service, Epicenter, is a web-based software system leading authorizers around the country are using to organize, streamline, and automate performance and portfolio management 24/7/365. The Institute is a Michigan non-profit corporation with federally recognized 501(c)(3) status.


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