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NB Students Win State, County Law Day Contests

Ask 13 year-old Zelda Galdenzi if the government should ban sugary drinks and you’ll get a reply that’s been judged to be the best in the state.

Galdenzi was recently named the statewide winner of the Connecticut Attorney General’s 2014 Law Day Essay Competition. The contest asked Connecticut eighth grade students to write a persuasive essay on the topic, “Should government ban sugary drinks? Why or why not?”

In her essay, Galdenzi, a student of Carol Papa at North Branford Intermediate School (NBIS), argued that, “…people should be able to be in charge of their own health … there are alternate ways to keep people healthy other than banning these drinks or controlling how much people consume.”

Nearly 300 students entered the essay contest, but kids in North Branford must know something they don’t – because Makayla Harrison, also a student of Papa’s, had her essay selected as the New Haven County award winner.

Using blind judging, a panel of 10 judges selected the top three essays statewide, as well as winners by county. The judges were Michael L. Anderson, Anderson Law Firm, P.C., Norwich; Thomas Hennick, public education officer, CT Freedom of Information Commission; Bernard Kavaler, managing principal, Express Strategies, Hartford; Ravi Shankar, chairman, Connecticut Young Writers Trust and English professor, Central Connecticut State University; Susan Schoenberger, author and director of communications, Hartford Seminary; Bill Seymour, director of communications, Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles; Susan Tukey of East Hartford; John C. Turner, Jr., The Law Office of John C. Turner, Jr., LLC of Trumbull; Emily Westerberg, executive secretary to the Attorney General and Susan E. Kinsman, Esq., senior policy advisor to the Attorney General.

CT Attorney General George Jepsen said it’s “never too early” to engage in public policy discussions.

“Critical thinking and analytical writing are important skills for students to develop. I commend the students who participated and their teachers for encouraging those efforts,” said Jepsen.

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