TES Student Wins State Essay Contest

Lisa Tateuchi
  • Published January 24, 2023

    A fifth grader from Trinity Elementary is a Tennessee 2022 Civics Essay Contest winner.

    Lisa Tateuchi won first place in the third through fifth-grade category of the competition. She competed against hundreds of students from across the State to win this recognition. 

    "A lot of times students are told what they should write," said TES teacher Stephanie Perfect. "I like providing an avenue for kids who don't always get that time to write creatively, and Lisa did a phenomenal job. It was like reading an adult's writing, not necessarily a fifth grader's writing."

    Perfect told her fourth and fifth graders about the competition in November. Approximately 27 essays from each grade were submitted, each centered around this year's prompt: "Why Your Vote Matters." Perfect had to choose two essays from each grade level to submit to the contest. Lisa's essay was one of the two fifth-grade papers entered.

    "I definitely thought that this would be fun because I really like writing," Lisa said. "One thing I wrote about was that voting helps public morale. I read that people with disabilities felt empowered and valued because they were able to vote. Obviously, voting also impacts the whole country because it's how we elect important leaders."

    As the first-place winner in her category, Lisa will receive a $500 TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a trip to the State Capitol.

    "I didn't think that I would win, because it was a competition for the whole state," Lisa said. "I was very surprised, and I was very excited about winning."

    The contest was open to all Tennessee students in public, charter, private and home schools. The Secretary of State's office launched the Civics Essay Contest in 2016. Schools chose up to two essays per grade level to submit for the contest, which was broken up into categories based on grade level.