Skip to main content

News & Events


Honored Teachers Essay Contest Winners Announced

Massanutten Regional Library proudly announces that the following students were selected as award winners for the 26th Annual Robert B. and Gladys Hopkins Strickler Honored Teachers Writing Contest. Students in grades K-12 were challenged to write an original essay about a current or former teacher who has had an impact on their life. The contest was open to public, private, and homeschooled students who attend school in MRL’s service area of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County and Page County. The 2023 winners and their teachers are:

Anish Aradhey – 1st place                    Harrisonburg High School               Rosanna Johnson

Hassan Sani– runner up                       Turner Ashby High School               Adrienne Whiteside     

Maya Weniger – 1st place                     Redeemer Classical School             Heather Dowdy   

Olivia Spitzer – runner up                      Montevideo Middle School             Summer Rosson

Alana Pilar Trouille-Zuniga – 1st place  Spotswood Elementary                  Bryan Gardner

Molly Knighten – runner up                   Lacey Springs Elementary               Sarina Smith

Ela Smith – 1st place                              Pleasant Valley Elementary             Elizabeth Rhodes

Esmene Gelani – runner up                    Stone Spring Elementary                Anne Kappers

Judging of essays was conducted by the Harrisonburg Kiwanis and winning students were recognized at an awards celebration on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the Central Library in downtown Harrisonburg. Cash awards were given to the winning students and at the ceremony, Rosanna Johnson, an English teacher at Harrisonburg High School, was named the Honored Teacher of the Year, winning an award $1,000 her professional or personal use.

Since its founding in 1997, the Honored Teachers Essay Contest has received over 5,000 student entries—each heartfelt and each celebrating phenomenal local teachers who make incredible differences in the lives of areas students. The contest was made possible through the generosity of Robert H. “Twig” Strickler and his wife Lorraine, who set up a memorial endowment through to honor Twig’s parents, Robert B. and Gladys Hopkins Strickler, who were both inspiring teachers. To date, the contest has awarded a total of more than $10,000 to teachers to enhance their work, as well as thousands of dollars in prizes to student writers. Though Mr. Strickler passed away in 2019 at the age of 90, the program continues to honor his and Lorraine’s commitment to highlighting the importance of excellent teaching in the Valley.

MRL congratulates all student winners and the teachers they honored and extends  its sincere appreciation to all students who entered the 2023 contest.

Inform. Inspire. Connect.

© 2024 Massanutten Regional Library

Powered by Firespring