Anna student places in Fed contest


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:

Principal Principles

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…