Friday, January 8, 2010

Freshman Wins State Essay Contest

On Dec. 16th, Brett Davisson, a WHS freshman, was notified from the Maine Secretary of State’s office that he had received 1st Place in the High School Division of the Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest for his 1,000 word essay, The Abenaki and the European Settlement of Maine.
Davisson moved recently to Maine from Pennsylvania with his family and was enrolled at WHS in October. Despite the big move and adjustments to a new school environment, Davisson wasted no time getting down to business on a couple of his passions: reading and writing about history.
Davisson’s essay focuses on converging cultures--white settlers and various native tribes--in territory that is now the State of Maine in the early to mid-1600’s.
In his essay Davisson reaches an interesting conclusion. “Without Native Americans, our lifestyle would be completely opposite, and colonization of the Americas may have been impossible. Americans owe a great deal to the Indians, and could not have successfully built a nation without their help.”
For his efforts, Davisson and his classmates will travel to Augusta at some point in the near future where they will be special guests of Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. While at the capitol complex they will tour the State House, the State Museum and the State Archives. The group will be able to view various historical documents such as treaties between settlers and various native tribes; rare historical items that are stored away in vaults and generally not available to the public.
According to Principal Jim Daly, Brett has another evolving passion: sports casting. Each Friday morning Brett visits the main office of the school to sit down at the public address system and read WHS sports news and scores. “He does a good job,” said secretary Lil Lagasse.
Davisson has a sister, Kara, who is a junior at WHS. Jody Selsberg is Brett Davisson’s ninth grade English teacher.
Photo caption: WHS Principal Jim Daly (left) with WHS freshman and historical essayist Brett Davisson. An image of a native American is in the background. (Reg Bennett photo)