News Release


Release: Contact:

Christine Morganti
(505) 797-6028

Students Awarded Cash Prizes in State Bar High School Essay Contest

Albuquerque, N.M. - Three New Mexico high school students were awarded cash prizes for their legal writing skills in the State Bar of New Mexico’s 18th annual high school essay contest. This year’s topic, “License to Try,” dealt with the liability issues arising when a student’s driver’s education test goes very wrong. The committee received 67 essays from schools around the state.

First Place—$1,000

Kayla Jones

Maelisa Rydholm, Teacher

Valley Christian Academy, Roswell

Kayla Jones is the business manager for the school yearbook and is busy in church activities. She is on the honor roll and has been selected as the Sertoma student of the month, as well as the Character Counts student of character. She plans on attending UNM and majoring in law with a minor in psychology.

Second Place—$500

Kendra Poole

Anne Young, Teacher

Valley High School, Albuquerque

Kendra Poole is a member of the National Honor Society, Model United Nations, Mock Trial, Student Senate, MESA and the Viking Legend student newspaper. She graduated from the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Program and is a National English Merit Award Winner. Poole received a Presidential Academic Scholarship to George Washington University in Washington DC.

Third Place—$250

Sarah Zager

Sonia Roth, Teacher

Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque

Sarah Zager is a National Merit Finalist who is currently deciding whether to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she has been awarded a spot in their honors program, or the University of Chicago. She was recently named a recipient of the Gold Key for Writing Portfolio Nonfiction, Personal Essay/Memoir Category. Zager is editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Advocate.

Essays were judged by New Mexico attorneys and judges, and checks were presented by R.E. Thompson, president of Modrall Sperling, to the winners at the Albuquerque Bar Association’s Law Day luncheon on May 5. The annual essay contest has been generously sponsored by Modrall Sperling since 1997.

View the photos, bios and essays of this year’s winners