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News Release
St. Mary's Academy Students Win Three Garaventa High School Essay Awards (Photo) - 04/19/18

Portland, Ore.-- For the third year in a row, St. Mary’s Academy students received three of the five awards for the Garaventa Center Catholic High School Essay Contest. This incredible achievement demonstrates the intellect and talent of St. Mary’s Academy’s students as well as the school’s emphasis on integrating concepts of faith and spirituality into its curriculum.

The theme of the 2017-2018 Garaventa Center Catholic High School Essay Contest was “Notes to My 12-Year-Old Self” and was open to students in their junior year at St. Mary’s Academy. This essay contest was completely voluntary and students worked on these reflective essays during their own time. To encourage and support students in the writing process, the St. Mary’s Academy English Department held a special meeting to provide students with tools, information and examples to guide their work. Faculty members also made themselves available outside of class to provide feedback and support to help students be successful in this endeavor.

Students’ essays were judged by a faculty panel who selected four essays that would represent St. Mary’s Academy in this competitive essay contest. Once their essays were submitted, St. Mary’s Academy students’ work was judged against that of their peers attending Catholic high schools in the states of Alaska, Hawai’i, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Each student’s essay went through a blind judging process, meaning that individuals evaluating their work were not aware of the students’ names or school affiliation. This shows that the written works alone are enough to speak to the brilliance and writing abilities of each student.

“It is a great honor to have three recipients of this prestigious award for a third year in a row. This achievement demonstrates the talent and dedication of our students and their ability to reflect on complex spiritual and intellectual topics related to their lives,” said St. Mary’s English teacher, Sara Salvi.     

St. Mary’s proudly took home three out of the five awards granted to this year’s competitors. Madeleine Adriance and Abby Place received honorable mentions and a $250 prize for their essays entitled “Piece by Piece” and “Gain the Whole World” respectively. Katherine Bloch received one of two first place awards for her essay “Define Me?” along with a $500 prize. In addition to her award, Katherine Bloch will have her essay read by professional actors in a podcast that will be available on iTunes as well as the Garaventa Center’s website.

The Garaventa Center for Catholic High School’s Essay Contest is an annual competition that encourages participants to integrate faith and reason into a personal essay. St. Mary’s Academy applauds this year’s award winners for their excellence, talent and creativity in meeting this challenge.  

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At St. Mary's Academy, We Believe. Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon, St. Mary's Academy is the state's premier all-girls high school and the oldest continuously operating school. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary's Academy serves over 700 young women in grades 9-12. The school's college acceptance rate is 100% and SMA students achieve, excel and are recognized locally, regionally and nationally in academic fields, the arts, athletics, community services and extra- and cocurricular activities.


Attached Media Files: Garaventa_Awards.jpg