Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. (front row, second from left) joined the judges of the 19th District Court on May 10 to celebrate the 54th anniversary of Law Day. Joining Young congratulating the 24 fifth- through eighth-grade winners of the 2011 Law Day essay contest are: 19th District Court Chief Judge Mark Somers (front row left), Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr., Judge William Hultgren, Judge Richard Wygonik and John Artis of the Rotary Club.
DEARBORN – Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. joined the judges of the 19th District Court, Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. and local students on May 10 to celebrate the 54th anniversary of Law Day – a time set aside each year to help Americans remember the importance of the rule of law.
Young joined Chief Judge Mark Somers, Judge William Hultgren and Judge Richard Wygonik as well as O’Reilly as they honored the winners of the 2011 Law Day student essay contest.
John Artis also participated in the ceremony representing the Dearborn Rotary, longtime sponsor of the program.
Nearly 500 students from Dearborn’s public and private middle schools submitted essays discussing this year’s Law Day theme: “The Legacy of John Adams, From Boston to Guantanamo.”
The 2011 theme provided students with an opportunity to celebrate Adams’ legacy, explore the historical and contemporary role of lawyers in defending the rights of the accused, and enhance understanding of the fundamental principle of the rule of law and how it applies to current issues.
Even before Adams became the second president of the United States, he was a prominent lawyer. He strongly believed in adherence to the rule of law and defense of the rights of the accused, even in cases when advocates may represent unpopular clients and become involved in matters that generate public controversy.
Adams demonstrated his belief in equal justice when defending five British soldiers accused of murdering Bostonians in the event commonly called the Boston massacre.
A total of 24 winning essays were selected in the contest: a first place, second place and third place winner and three honorable mentions in each grade level — fifth through eighth.
Each first place winner received a certificate and a $200 savings bond. Each second place winner received a certificate and a $100 savings bond. Each third place winner received a certificate and a $50 savings bond. Recipients of honorable mentions each received a certificate and a $25 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble.
The essay contest winners were:
Fifth grade – first place, Leah Schlesinger, Lindbergh; second place, Xaire Harajli, Geer Park; third place, Salwa Eljahmi, Iris Becker Elementary School. Honorable mentions: Cameron Godin, Sacred Heart; Nadine Bazzi, William Ford Elementary; and Olivia Schreiber, Sacred Heart.
Sixth grade – first place, Julianne Grenn, Divine Child; second place, Jumanah Barqawi, Bryant Middle School; third place, Johnpaul Vega, O.L. Smith. Honorable mentions Ebtehal Qassem, Salina; Nicholas Lenaghan, Divine Child; and Anna Crandall, Divine Child.
Seventh grade – first place, Emily Natkowski, O.L. Smith; second place, Caeli Lacroix, O.L. Smith; third place, Fatima Najdi, McCollough Unis. Honorable mentions: Hussein Mackie, McCollough; Kali Church, O.L. Smith; and Brianna Helka, O.L. Smith
Eighth grade – first place, Rachel Szalay, Divine Child; second place, Andrea Sims, Advanced Tech Academy; third place, Mikala O’Rourke, O.L. Smith. Honorable mentions: Grace Sekulidis, Bryant Middle School; Eugen Ilisei, O.L. Smith; and Raehanna Ahmed, Salina Intermediate.