Twenty six students, from first grade through college, will be recognized Thursday for their winning entries in the 31st annual William Saroyan Story Writing Contest.
The contest, sponsored by the William Saroyan Society, drew entries from throughout the state. Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners in grades 1 through college. Those getting honorable mention will receive special recognition. The awards will be presented at 5 p.m. Thursday, at the Woodward Park Regional Library.
This year’s theme was “Tolerance,” chosen in recognition of the late Fresno author’s writings which helped readers understand, face and write about life’s challenges.
The honorees, their award, the title of their entry, their school and district and teacher (where available) are:
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Grades 1-2: First, Julianna Gonzales, “All Around the World,” first grade, Slater Elementary, Fresno Unified, Mrs. Phillips.; second, Katherine “Katie” Raine Long, “Proud to Be Me,” first grade, Slater Elementary, Mrs. Phillips; third, Adrianna Flores, “The Challenge of Life,” first grade, Slater Elementary, Mrs. Phillips.
Grades 3-4: First, Colby Villard, “It Could Be Worse,” fourth grade, Cedarwood Elementary, Clovis Unified, Mr. Zalky; second, Brian Schneider, “Tolerance,” fourth grade, Starr Elementary, Fresno Unified, Mrs. Friday; third, Ravneet Kaur, “Being Different is a Challenge,” third grade, West Park Elementary, Mrs. Land. Honorable mention: Ashton Chalabian, “Darian,” fourth grade, Sun Empire, Kerman Unified, Mrs. Garcia.
Grades 5-6: First, Iris Wang, “The Nature of Tolerance,” sixth grade, Riverview Elementary School, Clovis Unified, Monica Karam; second, Aidan Matthew DeVaney, “Saroyan Essay,” fifth grade, Valley Oak Elementary School, Clovis Unified, Andrea Gregory; third, Charlize Phillips, “Tolerance and Bullying,” fifth grade, Manchester Gate, Fresno Unified, Ms. Traskin. Honorable mention: Garnik Gevorkyan, “Tolerance Equals Acceptance,” fifth grade, Holy Martyrs Elementary School, Mrs. Guzelian.
Grades 7-9: First, Morgan Marashian, “Lessons From Uncle George,” ninth grade, Clovis North High, Laura Quall; second, Jasmine Gonzalez, “Struggle,” eighth grade, Alta Sierra, Clovis Unified, Sharon Ferguson; third, Harleen Sandhu, “Untitled,” ninth grade, Selma High School, Mrs. Manter. Honorable mentions: Joshua Christensen, “Life in Home School vs. Public School,” eighth grade, Dry Creek Academy Home School, Linda Christensen; and Ella Chakarian, “So the Sun Will Shine,” eighth grade, Holy Martyrs Ferrahian, Encino, Mrs. Kaloustian.
Grades 10-12: First, Vagarshak Avetisyan, “Cold Hard Ground,” 11th grade, Holy Martyrs Armenian High School, Encino; second, Nareg Kuyumjian, “The Cycle of Tortilla Chips,” 10th grade, Holy Martyrs Armenian High School, Encino; third, Cameron Calvillo, “Untitled,” 10th grade, Reedley High School, Mr. Camacho. Honorable mentions: Zoey Lothes, “Untitled,” 12th grade, Farmersville High School, Daniel Del Villar; Pedro Ramirez, “Acceptance, Tolerance and William Saroyan,” 11th grade, Voyager Secondary School, Madera, Betty Klein; Katherine Coleman, “The Importance of Being Earnestly Tolerant,” 10th grade, University High School, Fresno; Katrina Harler, “Untitled,” 10th grade, Reedley High School, Mr. Camacho.
College: First, Maria Jimenez, “No More Pigeonholing People,” Fresno Pacific University; second, Jorge Gutierrez, “A Dark Age & A Firebird’s Flight,” Fresno Pacific; third, Elizabeth Salcedo, “The Feelings I Hide Inside (Ella),” College of the Sequoias.