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Johnson claims first place for Optimist Essay Contest

MADISON – After reviewing and judging 82 submissions, Optimist Club of Madison members have announced the winners in their 2019 essay contest.

Students in local high schools wrote essays on the subject, “When All of the World’s Problems Are Solved, Is Optimism Still Necessary?”

“This year was unique in that there are two second-place winners, Kafui Sakyi-Addo and Aaron Micheals, and the first-place winner is Zachary Johnson. All of these students attend Bob Jones High School,” Optimist publicist Vic van Leeuwen said.

Board member Scott Piro with Madison Optimists presented $150 checks to the second-place winners. Johnson received $300 for his outstanding work. Madison Board of Education members and Robert V. Parker, Superintendent of Madison City Schools, congratulated the young writers at the board’s recent meeting on April 11.

The school board also commended the students’ creative writing teacher and sponsor Brandy Panagos.

“There are some great teachers and students in our community,” van Leeuwen said.

Optimist is one of the Madison community’s most active civic organizations. “The club was chartered in the early 1980s as a wing of Optimist International, whose objective is developing the world’s young people into productive citizens,” van Leeuwen said.

The demographics of Optimist Club of Madison include men and women who have pursued careers as engineers, librarians, teachers, federal employees and contractors. Most members are retired. While most members live in Madison, some reside in Madison County.

“Requirements to join are to be optimistic and have a willingness to support the community’s youth,” Piro said.

Optimist Club of Madison meets on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in Insanity Complex’s Fireplace Room at 100 Skate Park Drive (at the intersection of Hughes and Mill roads). For more information, call 256-858-1403.

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