This was a question facing Waterville Community Elementary School students as they prepared for the annual school-wide essay contest.
Kindergarten through fifth- grade students participated with the best essays selected to be read at a Parent Teacher Organization meeting.
“(I was) excited at first, but then when I went into the room and saw all the people I was kind of nervous,” first-place winner for second-grade Parker Davidson said.
Parker chose James G. Creighton, inventor of indoor hockey, as his hero. Parker said writing the essay required some research to find out more information about his hero.
Parker said he looked up “when he was born and what he did during that period of his life around when he invented hockey.”
Fourth-grader and first-place winner Reily Hembree said she was a little nervous when reading her essay.
“They bring some tears to some of them they really do,” fifth-grade teacher Marybeth Hollomon said. “We’ve had heroes from the military to God ... mom and dad are always a big thing and it’s emotional, especially for mom and dad.”
“I chose God,” third-grader Jessica Garrod said. “I said He was a hero because He helped me when I was a baby. When I was first born, I needed help getting adopted because my parents weren’t taking care of me.”
Fifth-grader and first-place winner Chandler Caylor had a similar reason for choosing his hero. Chandler wrote about his mom.
“When I was 5 years old, she adopted me from my parents,” Chandler said.
Reily wrote about her father.
“He’s a lifesaver. He tries his best to obey the Lord and he never gives up on people,” Reily said.
First-place winner for first grade was Viktoria Marchuk, who also wrote about her dad. She said he is a hero because he helps people who are in need.
Classroom teachers notified students their essays had been selected as winners for their grade.
“I was really excited. I was jumping all over the place,” Jessica said.
“I was proud and excited,” Parker said.
First place came as a supprise to Chandler.
“I was kind of shocked because there are a lot of smart people who are good writers (in fifth grade),” Chandler said.
The top three winners in each grade are given the opportunity to read and presented with a medal.
“I was surprised when I got the trophy (medal),” first-place winner for kindergarten Christian Medlin said.
Christian wrote about his poppy, who is a hero “because he is a policeman (and) he catches bad guys.”
Hollomon said the essay program is sponsored by the fifth- grade department.
She said the annual essay contest gives her a way to see student growth.
“Since I teach fifth grade, it’s great to go back to first and second and see the growth of their writing skills,” Hollomon said.
Students completed their hero essays in class. Kindergarten through fourth-grade students complete the hero essay while the fifth -grade students are taking their writing assessment. Fifth-graders complete the hero essay on another day, Holomon said.