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Annual Richard Kemper Memorial Contest

Contest Description


          On Thursday, May 26, four Mamaroneck High School students were each awarded $250 for their entries in the Kemper Memorial Park Contest. The contest was conducted by the Social Studies Department at Mamaroneck High School and the awards were sponsored by the Kemper Memorial Park Preservation Fund.

          Students were asked to respond to the question "Why are war memorials important today?" The question was prompted by former Secretary of State Colin Powell's statement, “Take the time to remember the good souls whose memories are a blessing to you and your family. Take your children to our memorial parks and monuments.”

          Students were encouraged to respond in a variety of formats: essays, poems, short films, visual art projects or musical compositions. Over fifty submissions were entered and of these, the four best were chosen. At the Awards Ceremony, Tricia Ballard and Helene Graham displayed their winning art works. Tricia’s drawing showed the link between the students in the school hallways and the soldiers marching off to war. She wanted to emphasize the idea that the high school itself is a monument to the students’ sacrifice. Helene’s drawing had two parts: one of today’s students and the other of yesterday’s students in the trenches during World War II. Emily Morris accompanied herself on the guitar as she sang her composition, “Surrender” (inspired by her visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) and Alia Shenasa read her poem, “Tempo”, about the loved one who was left behind.  (Click here to read her poem)

          Honorable mentions included an essay by Angel Athill, a Triptych oil painting depicting the different stages in the life of a soldier by Emily Shen and portraits of the 101 honored at the Kemper Park by Kevin Sejdiu.

          Mary Cronin, former MHS Social Studies teacher and Vice-President of the Kemper Memorial Park Preservation Fund, commented, “The quality of the work was so outstanding that it was very difficult to choose. It is, however, a good problem to have.  It means that we are the beneficiaries of so much talent and all we have to do is give them an opportunity to shine.” It is hoped that there will be even more submissions in next year’s contest.


Click to view video of the presentation

Click to view Emily Morris singing her original
composition "Surrender"


Alia reading her poem "Tempo."


Standing in front of the monument in the Richard M. Kemper Park, with MHS Social Studies teacher and Kemper Memorial Park Contest Coordinator, Peter Greene, in the middle, are the contest winners

(Click to enlarge photo)

Tricia Ballard's "Silhouettes"

(Click to enlarge photo)

Helene Graham's drawing

Honorable Mentions

Emily Shen
Kevin Sejdiu
Angel Athill