South Creek MS student wins essay contest • by Stephanie Insanalli
Posted on 02/24/2023
Adrian Arias poses with Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis
This week, Adrian Arias had an excused absence from school to visit the Governor's Mansion for a reception honoring Black History Month student and educator contests.

Arias, a sixth grade student at South Creek Middle School, wrote "Fly High” about General Daniel James Jr. He is one of two middle school students throughout the state to win the Black History Month essay contest.

In  January,  sixth 
grade students at South Creek MS began learning how to write an essay in their language arts class. They spent two weeks learning how to research, cite evidence, create topic sentences and organize their writing. This was their first essay writing lesson for the school year. 

Stephanie Insanalli and Danielle Dickey, ELA teachers, had students follow the essay prompt for the State's Black History Month Essay contest. Students were told that at the end of the unit they would have time to revise their essay after getting feedback from their peers and teachers. Entering the contest was a decision for them and their family to make.

According to Insanalli,
 Arias was ambitious from the start. He wanted to win the prize, a two-year Florida College scholarship and $100 gift card. He kept his goal in mind for the entirety of the unit, he listened to feedback, spent hours at home working on his essay, and he wrote multiple drafts to perfect his writing. 

Adrian has shown his classmates what is possible when one commits to their goals and strives to do the best they can. All of the time and effort that he put into this essay was well worth it. Congratulations, Adrian! We are all so proud of you," Insanalli said.