University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Winning Essays Selected For Road Not Taken Contest

Burlington--Winners of "The Road Not Taken" student essay contest were announced recently with cash prizes awarded to the top entries in the three age groups.

The contest was sponsored by Green Works--the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association and University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and held in conjunction with the 2013 Vermont Flower Show, March 1-3, which had the same theme. A total of 66 essays were submitted by students from throughout the state.

Youths, ages 6 to 18, were invited to describe a personal road not chosen and where it might lead or end in a 250-word essay. The theme reflects a popular poem of the same name by Robert Frost, a world-renowned poet who made his home in Vermont for nearly 40 years. Entries were judged on uniqueness, creativity; use of descriptive language and passion for the topic, among other criteria.

The top three essays in each age group (6 to 9, 10 to13 and 14 to18 years old) received prizes of $50, $30 and $20. The winning essays also were displayed at the Vermont Flower Show at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction.

The first place winner in the 14 to 18-year old division was Carl Lavigne of St. Albans, a student at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans. Jackson Guernsey of Williston, a Williston Central School student, took top honors among 10 to 13-year-olds. Patrick Herrin of Essex Junction, who attends the Thomas Fleming School in Essex Junction, won the 6 to 9-year-old division.

Second-place winners were Krysta Gottfried, Westminster, Kurn Hattin (14 to 18); Olivia Howe, Brattleboro, Brattleboro Area Middle School (10 to 13); and Jarret Muzzy, Ferrisburgh, Ferrisburgh Central School (6 to 9).

Third-place winners included Justice Lee, Waterville, Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax (14 to 18) and Audrey Dawson, Westford, Westford Middle School (10 to 13). Emma Gray, Wells River, Blue Mountain Union School, and Ryan Smith, South Royalton, South Royalton School, tied for third in the 6 to 9-year-olds age group.