Governor, GDOE and IT&E Team Up to Inspire Student Pride in Guam, History Through Governor’s First Essay Contest

December 7, 2011
F.B. Leon Guerrero student Ana P. Bacani and Okkodo High School student Brianna Delgado won the Governor’s Essay Contest.  Their essays, with the theme “Me, On Guam, December 8, 1941,” commemorates the 70thanniversary of the attack on Guam on December 8, 1941.
They each won an iPad, courtesy of IT&E, and the chance to deliver a special Governor’s address.
“I’m so proud of these students,” Governor Calvo said.  “Ana, Brianna and all those who participated did more than just write an essay, they got in touch with their history and their heritage. They showed everyone that Guam’s children really have what it takes to succeed.”
Governor Calvo’s intent for the contest was to encourage writing and to inspire students to do historical research in their school libraries and conduct interviews that helped them imagine what it would have been like on the day Guam was attacked.  Students were challenged to show off their creative writing skills while bridging a generational gap by taking themselves back to December 8, 1941 in the form of a 500-700 word essay.
“I read these essays and was truly in awe by the creativity of these young writers.  Our students have what it takes to compete.  They have what it takes to win.” Governor Calvo said.  “They all did an incredible job of describing the Santa Marian Kamalen preparations and mass with strikingly clear details about the bombing.  I was impressed.”
Bacani and Delgado were among 30 middle and high school students who submitted entries for the Governor’s first essay contest that was announced on November 16, 2011 and closed on November 30, 2011.  The winners were determined by a panel of judges with essays scrutinized based on historical accuracy, portrayal of life on December 8, 1941 and grammatical accuracy.
Guam Department of Education Interim Superintendent Taling Taitano, Governor’s Chief Education Advisor Vince Leon Guerrero and Office of Curriculum and Instructional Improvement Eloise Sanchez and Chamorro Studies and Special Project Division Administrator Ron Laguana wanted this first contest to be a real learning experience for students that helped to highlight the struggles and triumphs of the Chamorro people.  They also hope this event will set the foundation for future essay contests that will further inspire creative writing among Guam’s students.

All essays, including those submitted after the deadline will be on display at the Agana Shopping Center from December 7 — 12, 2011.
Contact Troy Torres at 475-9304 or 486-8887 for more information.
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