Besser student wins essay contest

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Besser Elementary School fifth-grader Conner Cameron is very excited to win this first step in the essay contest.

ALPENA — Besser Elementary School fifth-grader Connor Cameron recently was announced as a winner at the chapter level of the 2017-18 American History Essay Contest.

History Chairperson Dorothy Swafford and her panel of judges selected Cameron as Chief Shawano’s fifth grade chapter level winner. The topic of the contest was “World War I: Remembering the War to End All Wars.”

“We had to write about what life would be like after World War I,” Cameron said. “I wrote that I was a 10-year-old boy on a farm. I had cousins in my city and it was hard for them to get food because of the Great Depression.”

Cameron said his essay also was about all the people trying to get a job when they came over to the United States.

“I lived on a farm so I didn’t have to go through that because I grew my own food,” he said.

Cameron said his mom wanted him to learn how to write an essay and he also likes military history. He also has relatives who were members of the Army.

“My grandpa, my great-grandpa, my Uncle Mark, my grandpa’s dad were all in the Army,” he said. “I had to find five sources for my essay. One of my sources was my Uncle Tom because he was five years old when the war ended. I got four books from the library and my mom had me write down five facts from each book.”

Classmates haven’t said much to Cameron, but his teacher is proud of Cameron’s accomplishment.

“My teacher has been complimenting me,” he said.

Principal Eric Cardwell said Besser Elementary is extremely proud of Cameron’s accomplishment.

“We wish him all the best as he enters the state competition,” Cardwell said. “His tremendous work ethic serves as a role model for all students. Connor is a great kid.”

Cameron’s mom told him he won after she got a letter and he was pretty excited when she told him that he won.

“I jumped up and down,” he said.

Cameron’s entry has been forwarded for judging at the state level. State level judging will be completed by late February and winners will be contacted at that time.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688.