CCHS freshman wins essay contest |

CCHS freshman wins essay contest

Christine Kuklica
Caitlin Maronde, middle, celebrates her achievement with her dad, Lt Cdr Bradford Maronde, her mother, Brenda Maronde, and little sister, Keira.
Courtesy of Churchill County High School |

Churchill County High School freshman Caitlin Maronde recently won the Armed Services YMCA essay contest for military hero for ninth and 10th grades.

According to the ASYMCA, since 1996 the ASYMCA has provided children of military service members a venue to creatively salute their military families by submitting artwork or penning an essay to illustrate what being a part of a military family means to them. Using forms of self-expression, children can create artwork representing their military family and write about their military heroes.

“I didn’t find out I won the contest until the night before I received my prize in class,” Maronde said. “My parents told me the night before that I won first place and to expect a surprise during one of my classes the next day.”

Maronde said during one of her classes she was acknowledged and congratulated by two vice principals and her family, as well as teachers and classmates.

“My mom, dad and two of my sisters were in on the little surprise for me and were able to come to my class when they handed me the prize and certificate,” she said. “For the prizes I received a congratulatory certificate and an Ipad.”

Maronde said her mom came across the contest one day while she was looking for scholarships for her sister, Megan.

“The YMCA contest that I entered was a 500-word essay that had to be written about a military hero,” Caitlin Maronde said. “I chose to write about Tammy Duckworth, who is an Army vet and is the U.S. Representative for Illinois 8th congressional district. She fought for vets who were being taken advantage of … she’s an inspirational woman.”

Maronde said while writing the essay she had to cut it down by five pages.

“There was so much information that I found on Tammy that I wrote about,” she said. “There were so many interviews on YouTube, inspirational videos and bios on Tammy, so I had a lot to write about and that’s how I ended up with five pages that I had to cut down to 500 words.”

Although Maronde is a freshman in high school, she already has her university and career path picked out.

“I love Washington state,” she said. “I love the outdoors and athletics and living in Washington you get to take advantage of both. I think I’d like to attend the University of Washington, it’s a great school and I love the area. I’d also like to join the Navy and go into the law enforcement and security field. I value the law system and I just think it’d be a good fit.”

Maronde is currently in the Navy Junior ROTC program at the high school and she says she enjoys the activities that are associated with the program and the community service the students perform.

The high-school student moved from Whidbey Island, Wash., two years ago. Her father is in the Navy so they travel often. Maronde has three sisters, Megan, Madison and Keira.

“I’m very excited and happy for my daughter,” Brenda Maronde said. “She beat out a lot of other entries and won first place in her grade group. Her essay was very well written and informative and I’m just very proud of her. It was fun to keep the surprise from her and watch her reaction but I’m glad she finally knows because she did a great job on the essay and she deserves it.”

According to the ASYMCA winning entry will be featured on the 2014 Art and Essay Contest poster and on the ASYMCA marketing materials, as well as online through their website and social media.