From left to right, Maddie McPhee, Brooke Dalgord, and Nolan Raredon, students from Big Bay de Noc School, are the local winners in the 45th annual “America and Me Essay Contest”. The three students, who earned the first, second, and third place awards for their school. All three received award certificates for their achievement. As the school’s first place winner, McPhee’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school. Mcphee’s first place essay now advances to the state level competition, from which the top ten essays in Michigan will be selected. The top ten statewide winners will each receive a plaque, a medallion and a cash award of $1,000. Several thousand eighth grade students from nearly 450 Michigan schools participated in the essay contest, which was conducted across the state.