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Catholic Schools Week Essay Contest

Sophomore Owen Schreiber took first place in the second annual Scecina Catholic Schools Week essay contest with his work, “Why I Chose Catholic Schools.” 

A dozen reasons to choose Catholic schools

The award was presented after Mass on Feb. 13. Nineteen students entered the Catholic Schools Week essay contest this year. They each received a certificate and a $5 Starbucks card. 


 The Catholic Schools Week essay contest finalists: (front row, from left) Bailey Sims, Grace Swinefurth, Ellaina Oxlaj, Alexis Dohleman, Kylie Manley, Olivia Smith. Back row: Scecina President Joe Therber, Emma Geddig, Julia White, Owen Schreiber, Anthony Hentz. Not pictured: Stuart Donlan, Osighe Akpeopkhai, Anthony Hentz, Angela Ceja, Ese Adodo, Layden Adair and Campbell Spears.

Congratulations to Owen, who won $150 for first place. 

Thank you to all the students who entered. The judges - President Joe Therber; Bob Golobish, vice president of Advancement; and graphic designer Mandy Crandell -- had a difficult job in choosing one top essay. The students finalists are: Stuart Donlan, Ellaina Oxlaj, Grace Swinefurth, Emma Gedig, Osighe Akpeokhai, James Hentz, Bailey Sims, Anthony Hentz, Kylie Manley, Alexis Dohleman, Angela Ceja, Ese Adodo, Layden Adair, Andrew Smith, Olivia Smith, Campbell Spears, Julia White, Gabrielle Coleman, and Owen Schreiber

Here is Owen’s essay: 

My Catholic education is one of the things I value the most. I began my education at Our Lady of Lourdes in kindergarten and am honored to have graduated 8th grade with my class. 

I, because of my young age, did not choose Our Lady of Lourdes, but I did choose to come to Scecina. My father graduated from OLL in 1987, so he and my mother sent me and my brothers to Lourdes as a key stepping stone into our success in academic life. I cannot thank them enough for their decision, for it allowed me to go to school to freely live out the values my family had shared with me. I learned to “Work, Study, Pray, and Play;” a family motto that encourages me to keep healthy balance to be truly happy. 

Lourdes taught me the rudiments of the Catholic faith, how to treat others, and why acceptance of all people in God’s universal kingdom is important. My incredible experience with Catholic education in grade school inspired me to continue it in high school, and I have found it to be the best decision of my life. The support from my parents, the guidance from God above, and my courage to satisfy my interests, I have chosen to further pursue Catholic education. 

Scecina Memorial High School has not only taught me about Jesus and the Saints, but rather is leading me to dive head-first into the true study of God and discovery of my hidden gifts. I chose Scecina to learn about the history of the Church through Salvation History. I was super excited this year to see that Mr. Kassien was including the examination of the Old Testament promises and Salvation History to be studied the entire first semester. My theology class has changed the way I look at the world. Never before have I looked into the Bible for answers in my life. Scecina’s theology class is what I looked forward to since my early days at Our Lady of Lourdes. 

The first thing I recognized about Scecina that I absolutely adored was the diversity of the student body. I looked forward to simply making new friends, learning about other people, and possibly learning a new language. I chose Scecina to take part in the historic community. I chose Scecina for the athletic opportunities, for I have always hungered for great relationships with my teammates and coaches. Aside from athletics and academics, but rather the culmination of the two, I chose my Catholic education here at Scecina Memorial High School to become a well-rounded person in all aspects of my life. 

Scecina pushes me to keep working, studying, praying, and playing, so that is why I chose Scecina and will be a Crusader for life. 

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