Over the past month, the Students Rise to the Challenge Competition has given students across Tennessee an opportunity to add their voices to the conversation that is helping to shape the future of education. Tennessee public school students in grades 3-12 were invited to submit essays or videos on three topics related to the education priorities identified in SCORE’s 2013-14 State of Education in Tennessee report. Fourteen semifinalists were selected, and the public voted in a Facebook poll to select two finalists in each category. Members of the selection committee interviewed each of the finalists over the last week.

Congratulations to the three winners of the Students Rise to the Challenge Competition and $250 college scholarships:

Cheryl Rodriguez, sixth grade, Cumberland County Schools, for her essay on the topic, “What do higher standards mean to you?”

Drew Welch, 12th grade, Williamson County Schools, for his video on the topic, “How is technology being used in your classroom to help you learn?”

Josh Witt, 11th grade, Knox County Schools, for his video on the topic, “What innovative things is your school doing to prepare you for college or your career?”

The winning essay and videos will be posted on SCORE Sheet in the coming weeks. Thanks to the 57 students who sent entries for the competition and the 1,758 voters in our Facebook poll for adding their views to the ongoing conversation about public education in Tennessee.