essay contest winners banner banner image

North Carolina, Wisconsin and Texas students win top honors in NCSC’s 2022 Civics Education Essay Contest

Molly Justice
National Center for State Courts

North Carolina, Wisconsin and Texas students win top honors in NCSC’s 2022 Civics Education Essay Contest

Williamsburg, Va. (April 28, 2022) – Students from North Carolina, Wisconsin and Texas took top honors in the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) 2022 Civics Education Essay Contest.

In explaining which amendment in the U.S. Constitution has had the most impact in people’s lives, an overwhelming number of students cited the First Amendment – with the 13th Amendment as a popular choice among younger contestants.

“NCSC’s Civics Education Essay Contest is designed to encourage students to really think about the importance of our system of government and the framework on which it was founded,” said NCSC President Mary C. McQueen.

Students from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 19 countries participated in this year’s contest. Essays were judged on creativity, accuracy, length and grammar. The nine winners will receive cash prizes totaling $3,000.

Essays were judged by a team of NCSC staff and a finalist panel including NCSC Board Chair and Rhode Island Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell and Mason Farr of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Civic Education Section and recipient of the 2021 Sandra Day O’Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education.

The 2022 winners include:

High school (grades 9-12)
  • First place: Santana Spearman, Providence Day School, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Second place: Sumayyah Abuelmaatti, Rancho Bernardo High School, San Diego, California
  • Third place: Eshal Warsi, Cypress Woods High School, Cypress, Texas
Middle school (grades 6-8)
  • First place: Kelsey Raddemann, Pilgrim Park Middle School, Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Second place: Anoushka Pandey, Bryn Mawr School, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Third place: Myra Gupta, Alfred C. MacKinnon Middle School, Wharton, New Jersey
Elementary school (grades 3-5)
  • First place: Sabina Perez, St. Mary’s Elementary School, Fredericksburg, Texas
  • Second place: Isha Gupta, Daves Creek Elementary School, Cumming, Georgia
  • Third place: Rio Duncan, Trinity Episcopal School, West Lake Hill, Texas

For the past nine years, NCSC has framed its essay contest question around the American Bar Association’s Law Day theme, which in 2022 is “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.

Read the winning entries here.