Catholic Textbook Project Announces History Essay Contest Winners and Prizes

LOS ANGELES, June 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Catholic Textbook Project, the premiere publisher of history and social studies textbooks for Catholic schools, today announced the Catholic student and school winners of its second-annual History Essay Contest.

Students were challenged to choose a Catholic historical character and describe how this person influenced the times in which he or she lived. The contest ran Feb-April and was open to students in Catholic schools, grades 5 through high school. Winners were chosen among 420 entries and prizes awarded to both student and school winners.

“We expanded this year’s contest categories to include high school and were pleased to see many high school submissions,” says Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., president of Catholic Textbook Project. “Our judges did not find it an easy task to pick the best essays. Congratulations to student and school winners!”

Winners of the 2016 Catholic Textbook Project History Essay Contest, and their Awards, are as follows:

  • Grade 5/6 Catholic School Division: Ellen Menke from St. Agnes School in St. Paul, MN, wrote about Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, the 14 year-old Mexican martyr in the Cristero Revolution whose torture and death inspired his countrymen to keep fighting for their Catholic rights against an oppressive government. Menke won $100 and St Agnes School, a $400 gift certificate for Catholic Textbook Project’s store.
  • Grade 7/8 Catholic School Division: Maria Middleton from Regina Academy at St. John the Baptist in Ottsville, PA, wrote on Pope St. John Paul the Great, whose strong leadership and joyful spirit brought hope to the world, especially to those under Communist rule. Middleton won $150 and Regina Academy, a $400 gift certificate for Catholic Textbook Project’s store.
  • Catholic High School Division: Paul Burlsem from Regina Mater School in Austin, TX, chose to elaborate on historian Christopher Dawson’s quote, “You can give men food and leisure and amusements and conditions of work, and still they will remain unsatisfied. You can deny them all these things, and they will not complain so long as they feel that they have something to die for.” Burlsem's essay, entitled “A Satisfactory Life,” won him $200 and won Regina Mater School a $400 gift certificate for Catholic Textbook Project’s store.
  • Grade 5/6 Catholic Homeschool Division: James Menges from Wichita, KS, chose St. John Neumann, who as archbishop of Philadelphia, founded the first diocesan school system and established 40-hour Eucharistic devotion in America. Menges won $100 and a free Catholic Textbook Project textbook of his choosing.
  • Grade 7/8 Catholic Homeschool Division: Winona Born from West Victoria, Australia, wrote about Servant of God Paul Xu Guangqi, a 15th century Chinese convert and scholar who improved the lives of his countrymen through new agricultural techniques and who defended the Jesuit missionaries. Born won $150 and a free Catholic Textbook Project textbook of her choosing.
  • High School Homeschool Division: Kristopher Stickney from Apex, NC, chose the earlier-mentioned Dawson quote for his essay entitled “The Pleasure of No Pleasure.” Stickney won $200 and a free Catholic Textbook Project textbook of his choosing.

Catholic Textbook Project’s History/Social Studies textbook series for grades 5-12 is now used in Catholic schools in more than 60 dioceses nationwide and in pockets of English-speaking schools worldwide. Development of four additional volumes, suitable for grades 1-4, has begun.

To learn more, go to or call 1.888.610.3354.

CONTACT: Karen Walker, media relations 888.610.3354, ext 4 /

Source:Catholic Textbook Project