MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A junior at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington has won Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' annual State of the Union essay-writing contest.
Alexina Federhen took first place out of 380 students from 26 Vermont high schools who participated. The students wrote about how they view the state of the union. A five-teacher panel judged the essays.
Federhen wrote that "2013 was a difficult year for America." But she said Americans weathered the tragedies "with the same determination, innovation, and cooperation that has enabled us to overcome depressions, recessions, wars, and disasters in the past. "
Second place went to Katharine Mayo of Twinfield Union High School and tied for third were Robert "Will" Aldrich of Mount Abraham Union High School and Brian Townley of Woodstock Union High School.
Click here to read this year's winning essays.
1st place: Alexina Federhen, Mount Anthony Union High School
2nd place: Katharine Mayo, Twinfield Union School
3rd place (tie): Robert "Will" Aldrich, Mount Abraham Union High School
3rd place (tie): Brian Townley, Woodstock Union High School
Finalists (in alphabetical order)
• Owen Deffner, Thetford Academy
• Kylee DiMaggio, Missisquoi Valley Union
• Madison Gilley, Mouth Abraham Union High School
• Fiona Higgins, Champlain Valley Union High School
• Raihan Kabir, South Burlington High School
• Emil Koenig, Vermont Commons School
• Nick Majeski, Woodstock Union High School
• Emily Martin, Vergennes Union High School
• Trevor McNaney, Milton High School
• Abigail Morris, Champlain Valley Union High School
• Carly Neeld, Champlain Valley Union High School
• Rebecca Paige, South Royalton School
• Kendall Spaulding, Missisquoi Valley Union
• Delaney Spink, South Burlington High School
• Holly Thayer, Milton High School
• Eric Tucker, Spaulding High School
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