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Ridgeview High School sophomore wins first place in local essay contest

Jaime Tracewell, a sophomore at Ridgeview High School, was recently selected as a first-place winner for the Bend Bulletin’s Newspapers in Education “Words Matter” essay contest.

The purpose of the contest according to the Bulletin, is to communicate facts, ideas and different points of view about complex issues.

For the essay, Tracewell was tasked with writing about life experience as a student and a young person, and explaining how “words matter” in writing or reading, life, communicating or in another way deemed important.  

When asked what inspired her approach to her winning essay, Tracewell said, “We often speak without thinking of the impact our words may have on both others and ourselves. With social media, this has become even more prominent, as there are fewer social restraints when you are not addressing someone face to face. Words hold a power that in and of itself is neutral, and it is the wielder who gives them a positive or negative connotation.”

Bulletin Newspapers in Education Program Coordinator Russ Donnelly explained that even though Jaimie entered the contest on her own, “her skill level is certainly a reflection of not only her talent, but, what she has learned at Ridgeview.”

As part of her win, Tracewell will receive a $100 gift card to the shops at The Old Mill in Bend, a framed certificate of participation, and publication of her essay in the Sunday, May 21 edition of the Bulletin, and on the newspaper’s website.  

In addition, she was invited to a photo session at the Bulletin on May 15 with her fellow essay contest winners and the newspaper’s publisher John Costa and editor Erik Lukens.

An excerpt from Tracewell’s essay: “But for all, words are a binding, sewing people together in their abilities to function on a higher plane than any other being on Earth. Words are what make us human.”