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Junior Drew Little Semi-finalist in 2015 John Stossel Essay Contest

Junior Drew Little smiles as Principal Dr. Jonathan Tyson presents him with a $100.00 check. The check was a prize for Littleā€™s semi-finalist recognition in the 2015 John Stossel Essay Contest.

On Thursday, April 30, Piedmont High School Principal Dr. Jonathan Tyson presented junior Drew Little with a certificate, a signed copy of journalist John Stossel’s book No They Can’t: Why Governments Fail – But Individuals Succeed, and a $100 check for his winning essay in the John Stossel Essay Contest. 

The essay contest provides students with an opportunity to practice their argumentative writing skills which they delve in to during their junior year.  Tyson said, “We are very proud of all of our students who participated but especially proud of Drew's writing. Competition breeds success in all facets of life.”

The essay contest was a required assignment for all students in the English III AP course in February. Students aged 12 to 18 were asked to write an essay taking a critical look at any government regulation and building their case for whether the regulation is good or bad, after viewing John Stossel’s TV special addressing the issue.

Little’s focus for his essay was a case in which a man in Phoenix, Arizona held a Bible study in his home.  According to Little’s essay, the pastor “was charged with 67 building code violations such as not having emergency exit signs over the doors and no handicap parking spaces.”  Using rhetorical questions, facts from the case, and Stossel’s video, Little developed the argument that “[t]he government does not and should not have the power to control when we have guests in our homes.”

There were 3,500 essays submitted by students around the country, with 125 essays chosen as prize winners. This is the third year Piedmont High School has had a winner in the contest.  Last year, senior Ana DeLoreto won honorable mention, receiving a $50 check. 

To see the top essays and a full list of winners, please go to:


Written by: Donna Helms - Web Editor
Posted: May 05, 2015 by Donna Helms

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