Independence High School students A.J. Barnes, Jennifer Perfetto, Shelby Ross, and Liberty High Freshman Perry Continente celebrate awards.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Singrin
Students from Independence and Liberty High Schools dominated the 12th annual Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center’s annual high school essay competition this year, called the Peace Through Art and Writing Challenge. For their award-winning essays on peaceful problem solving, and how one individual can make a difference in society, Liberty High School student Perry Continente will receive $250, Independence High School student Shelby Ross will receive $200, and Independence student A.J. Barnes will receive $100.
Independence High held its own competition on this topic, and Shelby Ross, Jennifer Perfetto, and A.J. Barnes were announced as winners for the school. The three students were honored last week as they read their essays aloud to teachers and staff and received their school-level prizes. Independence teacher Susan Laird was thrilled to bestow the awards at the ceremony, and especially proud of her son Perry Continente, saying, “Our students competed against students from all over Contra Costa County. I’m so proud of them, and am grateful that all of their hard work has been acknowledged.”