GOP convention planners pause to honor essay contest finalists

Who wants to talk about protests routes, lobbying conflicts or family finances? Not the RNC, at least not today.

Because today they are announcing the names of 10 area students who are  finalists in a “Wave the Stars and Stripes” essay contest. The winners are:

• Victoria Blackstone, Roseville, 15, St. Agnes High School, Grade 9

• Erin Cichanski, Maple Grove, 13, Maple Grove Junior High School, Grade 7

• Thomas D’Agostino, Woodbury, 14, St. Ambrose of Woodbury, Grade 7

• Christopher Fiore, Lakeville, 16, Christian Life School, Grade 10

• Katharine Golightly, St.Paul, 17, Faith Baptist Christian School, Grade 11

• Brendan Halleron, Victoria,16, Holy Family Catholic High School, Grade 10

• Emily Hoffmann, Minnetonka,16, Holy Family Catholic High School, Grade 11

• Sandra Opokua, St. Paul,15, Cleveland Junior High School, Grade 8

• Sam Roden, Eden Prairie, 15, home schooled, Grade 8

• Mark Rugnetta,Savage,13, Eagle Ridge Junior High School, Grade 8

A panel of area judges will now pick the winning essay, and that student will lead the Pledge of Allegiance at an official event during the Republican National Convention, to be held in St. Paul Sept. 1-4.

The winner will be announced June 13.

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