News & Announcements

Fourth Circuit Announces Winners of 2019 Essay Contest

July 01, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 High School Essay Contest.

First Place--$2,000 Award: Isabel Sans, a rising junior at Edgewood High School, Edgewood, Maryland.
Read the First Place Essay

Second Place--$1,500 Award: Lorelei Loraine, a rising senior at Mt. Hebron High School, Ellicott City, Maryland. Read the Second Place Essay

Third Place--$1,000 Award: Eli Kuperman, a rising senior at Long Reach High School, Columbia, Maryland. ​Read the Third Place Essay

The contest, which ran from January 28, 2019, to April 15, 2019, was open to current 9th through 12th graders in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The court received excellent essays by students from all five states.

Students were asked to share their thoughts on the question: "How has the right to freedom of speech established for public school students in the Supreme Court case of Tinker v. Des Moines evolved in the 50 years since it was decided?”

The essays will be read and awards presented at a court program scheduled for September 19, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. at the Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia. 

The court extends its appreciation to its distinguished panel of judges for their work in reviewing the essays and selecting the top three submissions:

  • Susan Bon, J.D., Ph.D., Professor and Higher Education Program Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Affiliate Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law; Faculty Civil Advocate.
  • Andrew K. Clark, J.D.,Member, LeClair Ryan; Director, Federal Bar Association; Trustee, Historic Richmond; Director, Historical Society for the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Robert H. Edmunds, Jr., J.D., Counsel, Fox Rothschild LLP; Chair, North Carolina Bar Association Appellate Rules Committee; Director, BarCares.
  • Paula M. Stanton, Ph.D., English Department Chair, Bel Air High School; 2018 Harford County, Maryland Teacher of the Year.
  • Joshua Weishart, J.D., Associate Professor of Law and Policy, West Virginia University College of Law and the John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics; Administrator, WV ED Law Blog.

For more information about the contest, visit ​