TCCS student wins state-wide essay contest

Photo submitted to Times Observer Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) Barton Gilman Essay Contest winner Callan Patterson, a sophomore at Tidioute Community Charter School, is flanked by (left) her father and TCCS high school English teacher Michael Patterson, and TCCS CEO Dr. Douglas Allen at the PCPCS 2021 annual conference in Harrisburg.

Education should offer someone hope for their future.

Tidioute Community Charter School provided sophomore Callan Patterson with the hope that inspired her winning entry in a state-wide essay contest.

Patterson was named the winner of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Charter Schools Barton Gilman Essay Contest.

There are more than 170 charter schools representing almost 170,000 students eligible to participate.

Essay entries were expected to reflect the theme: “My charter school has given me hope for my future. Here’s why.”

Patterson closed her winning essay with this: “My charter school has helped prepare me for all the years to come. I learn something new every day and thanks to the helpful and caring environment I have faith that I will succeed in whatever I choose to do.”

The full text of the essay is linked to the PCPCS Facebook page.

In addition to winning a $250 prize, Patterson read her essay at the PCPCS annual conference in October in front of some 300 charter school leaders and advocates.

“I was nervous to speak in front of so many people,” she said, “but everyone there was so welcoming and positive, which made the entire experience better.”

“We are so proud of our students and staff at TCCS,”CEO Dr. Douglas Allen said. “It was amazing to watch this young woman speak with such poise and purpose in front of so many people.”

TCCS students are making a habit of winning the contest — now in its third year.

“What is really special is that this makes TCCS the winner of the PCPCS essay competition for the past two years in a row,” Allen said. “There are so many charter schools out there in Pennsylvania, and little TCCS keeps showing everyone up. I can’t wait to win again next year.”


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