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Marymount of Santa Barbara Fifth-Graders Get Everything Write in Rotary Essay Contest

Three students easily pass the Four-Way Test in sweep of grade-level awards

In an unprecedented feat, Marymount of Santa Barbara fifth-graders swept all three of the top awards in the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara’s Four-­Way Test Essay Contest in the fourth- through sixth-grade division.

Marymount of Santa Barbara fifth-graders Hope Figgins, Sam Fuller and Chris Jablonka, along with fifth-grade teacher Mary Beth McLain, show off their Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Four-Way Test Essay Contest awards.
Marymount of Santa Barbara fifth-graders Hope Figgins, Sam Fuller and Chris Jablonka, along with fifth-grade teacher Mary Beth McLain, show off their Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Four-Way Test Essay Contest awards. (Marymount of Santa Barbara photo)

Honored at the April 29 Rotary Club of Santa Barbara luncheon were first-prize winner Sam Fuller, second-prize winner Hope Figgins and third-prize winner Chris Jablonka.

Marymount students explored the Four-­‐Way Test in their Writing Workshop during Language Arts class. Marymount fifth-grade teacher Mary Beth McLain guided her students through a writing process, which included a peer editing phase designed to stimulate healthy and constructive discussion between students in the classroom.

The blindly judged contest drew hundreds of entrants from many schools across Santa Barbara County, and the first-prize winner from each division had the honor of reading his or her essay aloud to the packed Reagan Room at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.

The prompt for the the contest was the Rotary International’s hallmark, the Four-Way Test — a test that helps Rotarians consider the following questions when taking any action or making decisions:

1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The specific challenge was to describe how living by the outlined principles affects one’s behavior, the behavior of family, friends and/or schoolmates.

“Today is especially confusing to determined what is really right and wrong,” former Rotary International director Lars-Olaf Fredriksson wrote on the organization’s Web site. “But the fundamentals of Rotary are bound to universal ethics and humanity without any boundaries between race, religion or ethnic background.”

Marymount of Santa Barbara, 2130 Mission Ridge Road, is an independent school with 210 boys and girls in junior kindergarten through eighth grade. Click here for more information.

— Amy Giles is an admissions assistant at Marymount of Santa Barbara.

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