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McCabe student wins DAR contest

February 17, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH, Staff Writer

Michael Dukes stood in front of the eighth-grade classat McCabe Elementary School in El Centro on Friday with the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams by his side.

Twelve-year-old Michael, a sixth-grader at McCabe who recently placed first in the Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest's Southern California regional sixth-grade division, was getting some practice reading his winning essay in front of an audience before heading to San Diego next week to pick up his award.

Michael, along with other students in McCabe's Gifted And Talented program, entered the annual DAR contest, which each year has a different historical topic.

This year's topic was "As editor of the Philadelphia Gazette, interview at least two signers of the Declaration of Independence and write an article for the July 5, 1776, edition."

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Going to San Diego with Michael will be 12-year-old Mario Arango, a seventh-grader at McCabe. Mario took a second-place award in his grade level in the competition.

Standing to the side and watching proudly as Michael strutted his stuff, GATE teacher Cheryl Lyon said, "I'm very proud of both students. They spent a lot of extra time at home working on their essays."Lyon explained that Michael's essay will be judged at the state level of the competition.

Afterward Michael, admitting he was nervous about getting up in front of the eighth-graders, said his ambition is to become an author.

>>Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or dingo87@earthlink.net

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