PUBLISHED: 2:58 PM on Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Floyd Dryden Middle School students let their thoughts known with persuasive essays
Writing has always come naturally to me. As a small child I would write stories about my friends or something new I had learned. When I got older, I looked forward to writing essays in school about subjects I cared about, and would anticipate the times in class where writing was the bulk of the day.

Not only did this provide a chance to dig into subjects I wanted to know more about, but it also gave my classmates and I an opportunity to speak our minds.

Earlier this school year, Floyd Dryden eighth grade teacher Samantha Davis asked me if the Capital City Weekly would be a venue for her language arts students to publish some persuasive essays they wrote for class. Then the process took place.

Floyd Dryden Middle School Editorial Board

Samantha Alex (leader)

Edward Hurtte (leader)

Eric Ashenfelter

Joel Brownlow

Darcy DeRego

Daniel Dillon

Kyle Erisman

Joey Felkl

Katie Kaplor

Sam Martinez

Katie Paden

Maia Reynolds

Matthew Whistler

Students wrote their essays for class, which were then handed over to the editorial board. This board was made up of 13 students from various backgrounds, who were responsible for choosing the essays to be sent to the newspaper. The students talked about their top choices - saying why it resonated with them and the level of quality it possessed. The task was not taken lightly, and students gave their honest opinions regarding each essay - even if it meant theirs would not be selected for publication.

The result was 17 selected essays, some of which are featured in this issue on Pages 27-32. The others will run in future issues.

The topics are broad and range from school oriented issues, such as school cafeteria food, to national topics, such as the war in Iraq. The essays are persuasive in nature as that was the school assignment.

I hope you will take a few moments to read what is on the minds of Juneau eighth-graders. This is their outlet and hopefully many more opportunities will follow for them in the future.