Laws of Life Essay & Art Winners

Foothill students responded overwhelmingly to the invitation to take part in our school’s fifth annual Laws of Life essay and art contest.
More than 900 students wrote essays and another 103 students created original art.
The Laws of Life are the core values that we take with us wherever we go and whatever we do. The essay contest challenges students to discover the values that will guide them through life. Students are asked to pick at least one character trait and explain how an event or person in their lives exemplified this trait. Students can choose from one of six character traits that are part of Pleasanton’s ongoing Community of Character program – compassion, honestly, respect, integrity, responsibility and self-discipline.
Many students entered the contest voluntarily, while some were required to write essays as a class assignment. The essay contest started in late January and ran until Feb. 13. A total of 926 students wrote personal essays.
Thanks to our wonderful Foothill community, 92 parents and community members gathered in the school’s multipurpose room in mid-February to judge the hundreds upon hundreds of well-written essays. In the end, 20 students from all grade levels were honored for their essays. One student was recognized for her artwork.
The winners were honored at a campus luncheon in early March. Dozens of students, Foothill administrators, school board members and city leaders attended the awards luncheon. Foothill’s character team greeted and served at the luncheon, while the school’s catering students prepared and helped serve the meal. Student Nathan Cheung entertained guests with his amazing piano skills. Leadership students directed traffic, provided signs and videotaped the event. The luncheon was covered by the school’s InFlight newspaper staff and yearbook staffers.
Essay winners were awarded these amounts -- $100 for first place, $75 for second place, $50 for third place, $30 for fourth place and $20 for fifth place. The art winner received $50.
Special thanks to Laws of Life coordinators and parent volunteers Terri Maxoutopoulis and Dana Dotson. Thanks to the students on Foothill’s Character Team – Emily Hanamura, Kortnie Maxoutopoulis, Casey Mensinger, Megan Tabler, Lauren Woolley, Andrea Davis, Audrey Wilson, Megan Gerlach, Amanda Kalbarczyk, Jenna Sparks and Sarah Hadley. Finally, thanks to teacher Kelly Sandler, counselor Jennifer Roush and Vice Principal Lori Vella for their work on the committee.
Congratulations to these students for placing in the Laws of Life contest:
Freshmen                                Student                                                 Teacher
1st place                             Kristen McDeavitt                                  Ms. Pagtakhan
2nd place                           Meredith Horning                                    Ms. McLaughlin
3rd place                            Saiba Singh                                           Ms. McLaughlin
4th place                            Tadeh Sarkis-Kelly                                 Ms. Garlit
5th place                            Kelsey Fey                                            Ms Dagen
1st place                             Megha Jain                                            Ms. Pagtakhan
2nd place                            Wendy Li                                              Ms. McLaughlin
3rd place                            Jenna Herzog                                        Ms. McLaughlin
4th place                            Jay Coles                                              Ms. O’Neill
5th place                            Samuel Hsieh                                        Ms. McLaughlin
1st place                            Jennifer Lee                                           Ms. Dagen
2nd place                           Ruoju Gu                                               Ms. Dagen
3rd place                            Holly Battershell                                    Ms. Dagen
4th place                            Christopher Bowman                              Ms. Garlit
5th place                            Namrata Nadella                                    Mr. Richey
1st place                            Sally Kim                                              Ms. Bradley
2nd place                            Prachi Naik                                           Ms. Castagnini
3rd place                             Hye-Min Oh                                           Ms. DeGiobbi   
4th place                             Edris Bemanian                                     Ms. Castagnini
5th place                             Paige McGlinchy                                    Ms. DeGiobbi
                                          Artwork Winner
Victoria Chen                                                                                 Ms. Trish Fenton