Hyla Middle School eighth-grader Hannah Cutler was recently awarded second place for her essay, “Tidal Power and Solar Roads: Clean Energy Solutions for a Country going Green,” as part of the World Affairs Council’s 20th annual World Citizen Essay Contest.
Hannah, of Bainbridge Island, won in the sixth- to eighth-grade division of the essay competition. The prize included a cash award as well as recognition in a May 15 ceremony where she was honored by several academics from the University of Washington as well as Jacqueline Miller, CEO of the World Affairs Council.
Miller, who is also a Bainbridge Island resident, noted that in the five years that she has led the council it was the first time a student from Bainbridge has been awarded the prize.
The World Affairs Council has worked for more than 60 years to advance global understanding and engagement throughout Puget Sound. The council aims to fostering dialogue and debate about critical global issues through public events, diplomacy initiatives that engage international delegations with our community, and global classroom programming for K-12 educators and students, which include the statewide essay contest.
This year, students were asked to reflect on the effects of climate change on global health. They received more than 250 submissions, including essays by CJ Soldevilla and Lucas Massa, also Hyla students.
Hyla’s Global Education teacher Kimber Trick brought the contest to her students’ attention as an extra-curricular opportunity tied to themes they’re exploring in class. Currently, their unit is studying the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on solutions-oriented analysis of global issues.
“I am excited to see so many of our students committed to identifying viable solutions to some of our most pressing issues, like global health and gender equality,” Trick said, who has worked for years to enrich Hyla’s curriculum through Global Education.