Gould Academy students win top writing awards

BETHEL — Two Gould Academy students are among the winners of the Camden Conference’s annual Bill Taylor Prize for their 2022 conference-related essay, Europe: contested at home and abroad. Thomas Lowell of Gould Academy won second prize and Burke MacLeay of Gould shared third prize with Samantha Goodwin of Piscataquis CHS. Piscataquis Community High School student Ruth O. Griffith won first prize.

Ruth Griffin

In his first prize essay, Griffith argued for early US intervention in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict – which coincidentally began on the eve of the February 25-27 Camden conference – based on the positive results of American interventions during the First and Second World Wars. Griffith compared the United States to the mythological hero Beowulf as a defender of a population against external aggression, a comparison that the contest judges described as “very original”.

Thomas Lowell

Second-place winner Thomas Lowell of the Gould Academy was praised by the judges for a “well-developed and strongly argued” case for stemming current and future Russian incursions, expanding NATO membership and continued EU/US collaboration and US military support to Ukraine. When told of his award, Mr Lowell praised his AP government professor, Adam Leff, who ‘inspired me to write the paper and instilled in me my love of government studies’ .

Burke MacLeay

Samantha Goodwin

Burke MacLeay of the Gould Academy, co-winner of the third prize, spoke in his essay about the weakness of the European Union’s response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The judges said MacLeay’s essay was a “well-written and focused” analysis of the EU’s failure to act as a peacemaker in the Ukraine conflict. Samantha Goodwin of Piscataquis CHS received a share of the third prize for what the judges called a “prompting essay” that argued for a return to a rules-based world order through tactical interventions to counter violation of that order. by Russia.

The Bill Taylor Prize was created by its namesake in 2015 to promote student research. Taylor was a longtime supporter of the Camden Conference with a strong interest in education. Camden Conference educational programs are designed to promote knowledge, perspectives, and opportunities for dialogue on global affairs with high school and college teachers and their students. Several high schools and colleges in Maine offer academic courses based on the theme of the annual conference. Twenty percent of the approximately 1,200 conference attendees are high school and college students who receive Camden Conference scholarships to help cover their registration fees. Students entering the Essay Contest do not need to be enrolled in a Camden Conference course, but they must be attending the Conference.

The Camden Conference congratulates our winners and thanks all the students who participated! Winning essays are published on our website: www.camdenconference.org.

The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on global issues. For more information, visit www.camdenconference.org, email [email protected]or call 207-236-1034.

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