The Oakland County Legal News
Patriot Week essay winners shadow judge at Circuit Court
Eric Dunbar and Katreina Ostrander, two sophomore students at Rochester Adams High School, were named winners in their school's essay contest held in conjunction with the week-long Patriot Week celebration in Oakland County.
The essay contest offered to U.S. History classes at Rochester Adams gave students an opportunity to express their views on a quote selected by the school for the contest from James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, which states: "In a government founded on the sovereignty of all the people, the education of youth is an object of the first importance." The essay winners accurately interpreted the quote and discussed its true meaning. Furthermore, they explained it from a personal perspective, giving an older quote modern relevance.
This year's first ever Patriot Week, held September 11 - 17, was a grassroots effort created by Oakland Circuit Judge Michael Warren and daughter Leah, and recognized by the Michigan State Senate, to honor America, its First Principles, key historical figures, documents and symbols of its history.
Tracye Bello, social studies teacher and organizer of the Rochester Adams High School event, commented: "Patriot Week provided a series of memorable experiences that allowed students to appreciate the modern significance and relevance of historical documents."
As winners, Eric and Katreina were guests of honor at the Oakland County Circuit Court on Thursday, Dec. 3, where they had an opportunity to job shadow Judge Warren. Their job shadowing experience allowed the students to walk with Warren through his work day and witness court procedures and processes in actual situations.
"I am thrilled to have these two young stars spend a day with me learning about the justice system," Warren stated. "During Patriot Week, they learned about the rule of law, unalienable rights, and the importance of limited government. I fully expect that this experience will give them a greater appreciation for the importance of these founding First Principles and how they influence justice today."