East Rockaway students awarded for 9/11-themed essays in Andrew Stern Memorial Contest

Three students from the East Rockaway School District have won the 2018 Andrew Stern Memorial Essay Contest, reports Mike Smollins in the Long Island Herald.

The Andrew Stern Memorial Essay Contest honors Andrew Stern, who was an alumnus of East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School. He was killed in the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 while working for Cantor Fitzgerald Securities. His family started the contest in his name more than a decade ago.

Students competing in this year’s essay contest were asked to compare the current divisions in the United States with the unity seen immediately after the 2001 terrorist attacks and give suggestions as to how unity could be achieved. This year, Andrew’s sister, Lisa Burch, was especially pleased with the quality of the essays.

“’To me, the most striking [message] was the most simple,’ Burch said. ‘Just be nicer to each other. I can’t tell you how many kids wrote about being nicer to each other.’”

This year’s winners were – High School: Ezequiel Espinal; Middle School: Madeleine Prucha; and Elementary School: William Lewald.

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