Six Benjamin Students Win Palm Beach Fellowship Essay Contest

Six Benjamin middle and high school students were named essay winners by the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Freshman Amelia Porges, eighth grade student Bryce Weisser and seventh grade student Luca Balzano won first place for their essays exploring the topic of hope.

Freshman Ella Hayes and seventh grade student Addie Vining earned honorable mentions for their essays, and eighth grade student Katia Orsic won an honorable mention for her poetry submission.

Students were asked to explore the topic of hope, reflecting on how writers interpret the abstract word of hope in a concrete way and help readers understand and think more deeply about the subject.  

Upper School English teacher Dr. John Peruggia, middle school Social Studies teacher Anne Franzen and middle school Drama teacher Bob Bayless were all recognized for their work on behalf of the Palm Beach Fellowship.

Franzen was asked to speak on behalf of the Palm Beach County educators who earned a Fellowship grant last summer.

“Do you know that almost every religion teaches two things?  Love God first, and take care of your neighbor,” said Franzen.

“ This is one of the first lessons that students discover in 8th grade History at The Benjamin School. Several colleagues and I had the pleasure of traveling to Newton, MA for training in The Facing History and Ourselves Curriculum, a gift from the Fellowship.  In addition, I was a participant in The Olga Lengyel 2018 Summer Institute. Adopting Holocaust Education in our classrooms has positively changed the entire history curriculum and the students at the Benjamin School," said Franzen.

Franzen said Holocaust education allows students to examine the choices made throughout history and their effects. This exploration, she said, has changed Benjamin students for the better.
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A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.