Winners announced in Feldman competition

Finalists in the 24th annual Margaret Feldman Competition for Excellence in Writing include (front, from left) Emily Steigerwald, Dan Liotta, Sydney Herdle; (middle) Emma Piercy, Natalie Boyer, Samuel Pfohl, Aaron Foreman; and (back) Jeffrey Hunter Hawke, Logan Stahl and Ben Nettles. (By Richard Sayer)

Winners in the 24th annual Margaret Feldman Competition for Excellence in Writing were announced Thursday at a ceremony at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Franklin.

The competition is held each year and is open to high school students from school districts in Venango County.

Judges chose 10 finalists from the 350 submissions that were received.

The competition is broken into two categories – one for ninth and 10th graders, the other for 11th and 12th graders.

Finalists in the ninth- and 10th-grade competition were Natalie Boyer, Aaron Foreman, Daniel Liotta, Samuel Pfohl and Emily Steigerwald, all of Franklin High School.

Pfohl was named the winner of this group.

He earned a $200 prize for his essay titled “Tainted Love and the Uncategorized Man” based on “The Great Gatsby.”

Finalists in the 11th and 12th-grade competition were Jeffrey Hunter Hawke, Sydney Herdle and Ben Nettles, all of Franklin High School; Emma Piercy of Cranberry High School; and Logan Stahl of Oil City High School.

Stahl was the winner of the older age group. His essay titled “A Truly Extraordinary Man” based on “Crime and Punishment” earned him a $500 prize.

Each finalists won a $100 prize.

The essay contest is sponsored through the Margaret Feldman Foundation, which was established by friends and associates of the Franklin teacher and community leader.

According to the Bridge Builders Community Foundations’ website, the purpose of this foundation and competition “is to improve education and develop the potential of youth in Venango County by creating an endowment that will enable donors to promote, sustain and strengthen literary education through the pursuit of excellence in the language arts by teachers and youth.”