TOWSON, MD—Top honors in the 2023 BCPS Black History Month Writing contest have been earned by students from Hillcrest and Warren elementary schools, Perry Hall Middle School, and Catonsville High School.
This year, the contest, coordinated by the BCPS Offices of English Language Arts and Social Studies, had as its prompt a quotation from Ketanji Brown Jackson, who, in 2022, became the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice: “Our children are telling me that they see now, more than ever, that, here in America, anything is possible.”
BCPS students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 were challenged to craft entries related to the quotation and inspired by a Black activist, artist, athlete, author, musician, scientist, or other public figure. This year, 238 students from 80 schools participated.
The top entries are essays about basketball star LeBron James and NASA astronaut Mae Jemison and poems about NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and NASA astronaut Guion Bluford. The winning entries can be read on the BCPS blog.
The contest winners and honorable mentions are:
Kindergarten – Grade 2
Winner: Veer Saywack, Grade 2, Warren Elementary School
Honorable Mention: Savannah Williams, Grade 2, Lutherville Lab
Grades 3 – 5
Winner: Faye Foster, Grade 5, Hillcrest Elementary School
Honorable Mention: Samuel Szymanski, Grade 5, Sparks Elementary School
Grades 6 – 8
Winner: Josephine Oseromi (pictured above), Grade 7, Perry Hall Middle School
Honorable Mention: Bryce Pearsell, Grade 8, Sudbrook Magnet Middle School
Grades 9 – 12
Winner: Lauryn Blair, Grade 10, Catonsville High School
Honorable Mention: Lauren Burden, Grade 11, Overlea High School
Blair also won in the Grades 9 – 12 category last year.
“This year’s entries were incredibly creative and submitted in a variety of formats,” said Jodi Wicks, BCPS coordinator, Office of Secondary English Language Arts. “Judges from offices and divisions across the county came together to review the remarkable entries and deliberated carefully to select the winners in each grade band. The Offices of English Language Arts and Social Studies, along with the Education Foundation, appreciate the efforts of everyone involved and commend all student writers for their participation.”
The Education Foundation of BCPS sponsored the 2023 contest and provided a $75 prize for each overall grade winner. Honorable mention winners will receive a certificate of achievement.
PICTURED: Josephine Oseromi, Grade 7, Perry Hall Middle School, receiving her award (via BCPS)