CLEVELAND — Sarah Steinbrunner, of Anna High School, has won a third-place award in the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s creative writing contest.
She won a $100 gift card for her poem, “Principal Principles.” The contest was open to juniors and seniors, who addressed the theme, “If I Were Principal for a Day.” They submitted entries in essay and creative writing categories.
“I kind of thought the easy choice would be to write a short story, so I thought I’d do a poem and maybe it would stand out a little bit. I wanted to make it humorous and less serious than an actual job as a principal,” Steinbrunner told the Sidney Daily News Tuesday. “It’s not really a poem if it doesn’t rhyme, so then I had to make it rhyme.”
That was the hard part. She spent a month working on the entry. Writing poetry was not a new venture for Steinbrunner, who graduated May 24. She had composed others for class projects.
“Sometimes, I end up rapping my poems to the class. It makes it more fun,” she said. Coming up with appropriate rhymes was not her only difficulty with this project, however.
“I thought the concept was kind of hard. There was a lot of economic stuff I didn’t know, so I had to do a lot of Googling to make sure I was using terms correctly,” she said. The result was that she learned some economics as she crafted the poem.
Other students from Anna also entered the contest, which had been posted as a scholarship opportunity by guidance counselor Michelle Holsinger.
“(Sarah’s) a great student. I’m not surprised that she won at all,” Holsinger said.
The first place creative writing winner was Abdelrahman Rahmy, of Brooklyn. The second-place winner was Tommy Stopak, of North Canton. In the essay category, Christian Bastian, of Upper Arlington, took first-place honors. Second-place was won by Michaela Jones, of Holgate. Kallie Kocinski, of Indiana, Pennsylvania, came in third.
A total of 266 students participated in the competition, which asked students to describe what they would do if they ruled their school.
The contestants were asked to think about economic concepts including costs and benefits, opportunity costs, supply and demand and unintended consequences. Each qualifying entry was evaluated on comprehension, organization, conclusions, creativity and clarity.
The contest, which promoted critical thinking skills and the study of economics, was open to 11th- and 12th-graders who attend schools in the Fourth Federal Reserve District, an area that includes Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.
Despite her take on running a school, Steinbrunner, daughter of Ron and Ann Steinbrunner, of Sidney, does not see being a principal in her future. She has enrolled in the Ohio State University to study food science.
All winning entries can be read at www.clevelandfed.org. The text of Steinbrunner’s poem is below:
If I were principal for a day
So many changes I would make
To have every student satisfied
This will be a piece of cake
One demand would be the lunch
More healthy, tasty and cheap
A vast improvement from what we have
So many benefits we will reap
Instead of heating up frozen foods
It will all be made from scratch
It will even be organic
With our brand new vegetable patch
But to change from simply heating foods
To those that are freshly made
Requires high capital investment
To pay for the new upgrades
But with help of federal loans and grants
This endeavor can come true
And the high demand from hungry kids
Will increase our revenue
And next would be the schedule
I would change it all around
No more notes until our minds explode
For a solution I have found
Students stress and panic
Soon their sanity slips away
That is why I’m making sleep
A required part of the day
It sounds like a great idea
To replenish your exhaust
But it probably isn’t feasible
Due to opportunity cost
Though every student is rested
Less learning is achieved each day
So we’d fail to know the material
Needed to pass the OAA
Or let’s bring our pets to class each day
All the cats and dogs and snakes
But then there might be allergies
Causing swelling, sneezing, or shakes
So maybe bringing pets to school
Isn’t all pleasure and glee
These unintended consequences
Make things hard to foresee
But this one is a game changer
A high schooler’s biggest request
My final order of business
Is to get rid of all quizzes and tests
Are quizzes really worth doing?
Should all exams be tossed?
That can be determined
Using benefits and costs
Just think of all the strain that’s caused
On teachers up late grading
Or students that pull “all-nighters”
These costs are quite persuading
But tests can measure students’ skills
And how professors teach
And even give the student body
Goals for which to reach
Because the pros outweigh the cons
I guess the tests should stay
After thinking about it for a while
I have only one thing to say
Being the boss is rather hard
So many things you need to weigh
It wouldn’t be a piece of cake
If I were principal for a day…