MLK Jr. Essay Winners

Salem Main Street's Martin Luther King Jr. essay winners
Posted on 01/25/2016
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Salem Main Street's Martin Luther King Jr. essay winners

By Staff | NJ Advance Media for 
on January 25, 2016 

SALEM — The 25th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship and Awards Breakfast was held Jan. 18, at Salem High School. At the breakfast, Salem County Main Street announced the names of the 2016 Martin Luther King Essay Contest Winners. 

Essay participants were told to write an essay on Bishop Richard Allen (1760–1831). Allen was a minister, educator, writer, and one of America's most active and influential black leaders. In 1794 he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the United States. He opened his first AME church in 1794 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Allen was elected the first bishop of the AME Church in 1816, Allen focused on organizing a denomination where free blacks could worship without racial oppression and where slaves could find a measure of dignity.

Volunteer Judges included: Thronna Busche, Jackie Bobbitt, Elois Cooper and Sharon Kellum. 

Essay Contest Overall Winners

  • Khabeerah Adams, second grade, Ms. Maccarone, teacher, John Fenwick School
  • Aaron Hiram Vaughn, fifth grade, Mr. Sanders, teacher, Salem Middle School (3-5)
  • Da'Shon Jahiem Bundy, eighth grade, Mrs. Montgomery, teacher. Salem Middle School (6-8)
  • Jahyde Maynor, 10th grade, Ms. Lamont, Salem High School

Grade Winners

Pre K

  1. Desmond Slater, Ms. Meehan
  2. Khyla Jones, Ms. Meehan
  3. Ja'Naysia Floyd, Ms. Meehan


  1. Syani Terrell, Mrs. Mullen
  2. Bruce Ramos, Mrs. Mullen
  3. Triscia Wilson, Mrs. Mullen

1st Grade

  1. Lay'la Dewey, Ms. Thompson
  2. Lilyanna Lugo, Ms. Thompson
  3. Ma'Leyah Smith, Mr. Shearer

2nd Grade

  1. William Dunn, Ms. Maccarone
  2. Rudy Perez, Ms. Maccarone
  3. Mar'Jziah Bundy, Ms. Maccarone

Additional Winners

  1. Mason Jones, Mrs. Paris
  2. Juelz Santiago, Mrs. Paris

3rd Grade

  1. Caden Lopez, Ms. Stanisce
  2. William Johnson, Ms. Pino
  3. Angelina Latoree, Ms.  McConathey

4th Grade

  1. Raina Carter, Ms. Ryan
  2. Alyah Green, Ms. McDermott
  3. Anthony Traae, Ms. Morris

5th Grade

  1. Reyna Gonzalez-Rivera, Mr. Sanders
  2. JaeLynn Turner, Mr. Sanders
  3. Serenity Turner, Mr. Sanders

6th Grade

  1. Cory Williams, Ms. Tortella
  2. Najah Freeman, Ms. Tortella
  3. Shailyn Moncrief, Ms. Skinner

7th Grade

  1. Rashon Jones, Mr. Johnson
  2. Davi'Yonna Thomas-Bundy, Mr. Johnson
  3. Montrae Boone, Mr. Johnson

8th Grade

  1. Nah'Zhai Dunlap, Mrs. Montgomery-Weid
  2. Kristopher Reagan, Mrs. Montgomery-Weid
  3. Aaron Michael Linkhorne, Mrs. Owen

9th Grade

  1. Megan Pankok, Mrs. Unger
  2. Akina Nichols, Mrs. Unger
  3. Destiny Holmes, Mr. Boone

10th Grade

  1. Sarah Sharp, Mrs. Unger
  2. William Forney, Ms. Mace/Ms. Lamont
  3. Curtis Bailey, Ms. Lamont

11th Grade

  1. Danielle Jones, Ms. Ilaria

12th Grade

  1. Cody Marich, Mr. Merritt
  2. Miracle Smith, Ms. Ilaria
  3. Ajea Dumas, Mr. Merritt