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State Treasurer John Perdue has been busy crisscrossing the state the last two weeks, recognizing award-winning essay writers and the schools which are nurturing their educational development.

The Treasurer traveled from Mason to Jefferson to Hancock counties to award schools a $500 scholarship for claiming a regional age-group winner in the annual SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest, sponsored by the Treasurer’s Office and The Hartford. Students were also recognized at the events and will be honored further during the formal annual award ceremony at Charleston in September.

The Hartford manages SMART529, West Virginia’s officially sanctioned college savings plan. It supplies both the school and student awards of $500 each. Students also have the potential of winning the grand prize of $4,500, awarded in September to the lucky student who has his name pulled at random.

“It does me good to get out and about and meet the bring young men and women, and their dedicated principals, who make such achievements possible,” Treasurer Perdue said. “It might have been said before, but children are most certainly our future.” The Treasurer stayed on the road from May 20 to May 27, except for the Memorial Day holiday.

Students traditionally write a 100-word essay, beginning with “When I Grow Up . . . “ The essays are judged blindly by an impartial panel.

A list of schools and their award winners:

  • Ashton Elementary, Mason County, Nathaniel Wilson, fifth grade.
  • Poca Elementary, Putnam County, Owen Martin, kindergarten.
  • Ruthlawn Elementary, Kanawha County, Archana Krishnathas, second grade.
  • Melrose Elementary, Mercer County, Kimberley “Autumn” Bane, fourth grade.
  • Maxwell Hill Elementary, Raleigh County, two winners – Mega Ilangovan, first grade and Luke Snuffer, third grade.
  • Page-Jackson Elementary, Jefferson County, Shyla Hatti, kindergarten.
  • Brandywine Grade School, Pendleton County, Kinsley Armstrong, second grade.
  • Lumberport Elementary, Harrison County, Zachariah Leggett, fourth grade.
  • Suncrest Primary, Monongalia County, Violet B. Nine, kindergarten.
  • Cheat Lake Elementary, Monongalia County, Gabby Chico, third grade.
  • A.T. Allison Elementary, Hancock County, two winners – Leah McMahan, kindergarten and Samuel Wright, second grade.
  • Williamstown Elementary, Wood County, Gabriella Rose, fifth grade.
  • Frankfort Intermediate, Mineral County, Isabelle Merritt, fifth grade.






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West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
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Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
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