PCPS Celebrates MLK Essay Challenge Winners

PCPS Celebrates MLK Essay Challenge Winners

Program and award from MLK Essay Challenge

Polk County Public Schools is proud to celebrate our student winners in the 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Challenge.

The event, open to students throughout Polk County, is organized by the Board of County Commissioners’ Community Relations Advisory Council, in partnership with PCPS. This year’s essay topic was “The fierce urgency of Dr. King’s vision for unity and love for our community.”

“It was an honor to witness our students commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream through their writing, listening and speaking skills,” said Chandra Hall, PCPS’ director of equity and diversity management.

Commenting upon this year’s essay theme, Hall said that students “demonstrated an understanding of how very important this vision is for all to embrace, in order to achieve a promising future as we continue to carry on Dr. King’s legacy in unity.”

“We are extremely proud of all of the students who participated in the essay challenge, and everyone that provided support,” Hall said.

Without further ado, congratulations to this year’s Essay Challenge winners:

– Elementary School (K-2)

1st. Aisha Khan, Laurel Elementary

2nd. Payten Maggie Green, McKeel Academy Central

3rd. Ediel Alexander Lorenzo Velez, Alta Vista Elementary


– Elementary School (3-5)

1st. Kiara Santos, Ridgeview Global Studies Academy

2nd. Jair Russell, James E. Stephens Elementary

3rd. Evangeline Stromberg, Loughman Oaks Elementary


– Middle School

1st. Sara Touati, Ridgeview Global Studies Academy

2nd. Sarah Jaber, Lakeland Highlands Middle

3rd. Herbert Frye, Lake Gibson Middle


– High School

1st. Joshua Schwartz, George Jenkins High

2nd. Tru Rylie Foisy, George Jenkins High

3rd. Ashley Farrow, Lake Gibson High


MLK Essay Challenge Winners Collage