Essay contest winners announced

Winners of Annual Student Essay Contest

HELENA –  Attorney General Tim Fox and the Montana Police Protective Association (MPPA) today announced the winners of MPPA’s 19th annual statewide essay contest for 8th grade students.  This year’s theme was:  “Prescription Drug Abuse:  What to Do?”

“I want to thank the Montana Police Protective Association for hosting this essay contest, the teachers who encouraged their students to enter, and all our young people who shared their ideas for ending prescription drug abuse,” said Attorney General Tim Fox.  “More than five percent of Montana’s 7th and 8th graders, and nearly 16 percent of our high school students have misused or abused prescription drugs in the past.  It’s so important for students to understand how prescription drug abuse gets in the way of academic and personal goals, and the devastating lifelong consequences it can have for abusers and their families.”

Montana Police Protective Association Executive Director Jerry Williams said, “The members of the MPPA deal with prescription drug abuse on a daily basis, and were thrilled to see so many 8th graders participate in the essay contest.  Attorney General Fox is working hard to educate the public about the horrors of prescription drug abuse and find solutions; the MPPA is pleased his office has partnered with us to heighten awareness of this devastating problem.”


In February, Montana Police Protective Association sent entry forms to every Montana school with an 8th grade; the essay submission deadline was April.  The state was divided into four regions; there were winners in each region.  First place winners received $300;  second place winners received $200; third place winners received $100.  The grand prize winner, Jaelee Strangford of Ekalaka, was selected from the four first place winners in each region, and received $1,000.

 Regional winners are:

Region 1

Place/Name                School                                        City                              Prize

1st - Rodrigo Rodriguez, East Middle School                       Butte                                  $300

2nd - Jenna Sanders                     East Middle School                       Butte                                 $200

3rd - Casey Schneider                  Whitefish Middle School             Whitefish                         $100


Region 2

1st - Abigail Bock                           Valier Junior High School             Valier                                $300

2nd - Kyle J. Watt                          West Yellowstone School            West Yellowstone          $200

3rd - Sarada Leavitt                      Gallatin Gateway                           Gallatin Gateway            $100


Region 3

1st - Jamie Eckhardt                     Lewistown Junior HS                    Lewistown                       $300

2nd - Cole Bare                             Reed Point School                         Reed Point                       $200

3rd - Kylie Ward                            Columbus Middle School            Columbus                        $100


Region 4

1st - Jaelee Strangford                 Ekalaka Public Schools                 Ekalaka                             $300

2nd - Kannon Ferestad                Scobey Schools                              Scobey                              $200

3rd - Zoey Crater                           Glasgow Middle School               Glasgow                           $100


Attorney General Fox and MPPA President Jason Wells recently presented the regional winners in Butte, Reed Point, and Columbus their awards.


Established 2005, the MPPA Foundation supports the 8th Grade Essay Contest, the Torch Run for Special Olympics, the Montana Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program, Operation Lifesaver, scholarships, and law enforcement officers with serious illnesses.  For more information, visit

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