Essay finalist heads to Nashville

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - One school and one student from Washington County, Tennessee could win money and awards through a state competition next week.

The one school, Boones Creek Elementary, is up for one of the best schools in the state for student achievement; the student is a semifinalist in an essay contest. She's from Sulfur Springs Elementary.

It's ironic that sixth grader Gracie Murray is working on proofreading during her language arts class. Gracie has submitted many essays and entered lots of speech contests in her short years, but she might get recognized for her efforts across the state.

"I wrote about education our school and about one of my favorite teachers and how she helped me understand about things I learned," Gracie said.

One of those things is a love for writing and speaking. "If you write about Dollywood you wouldn't say, I went to Dollywood, it was fun, I rode the Wild Eagle it was fun. You would say I went to Dollywood with my Nana, Papaw and cousins and it was awesome," Gracie reads enthusiastically from her essay.

So it was no wonder that she made it to the top five, and after internet vote made it to the top three. "If you made the top five in the state they would let the communities vote and so I became the top three in the votes. Now I get to go to Nashville," she says.

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education recognizes innovation and what works when it comes to learning.

That's something that her favorite teacher knows very well. "The learning has to be real. It has to be meaningful and if the children can make a connection in some way to something they've seen, or if a teacher can provide an experiment that they can use later as a future connection, then learning will take place and it won't be for that moment it will be forever," Mary Beth Larimer, fourth grade teacher said.

Maybe that's why we never forget our favorite teachers.

For more about the constest click here.

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