Please consider entering your top student’s essay.  Juniors and Seniors can enter.  Instead of only one entry per school, you can enter two essays, one from a Senior and one from a Junior.  The top six essays will be recognized. The top three will receive a cash prize based on the amount raised at our annual CCEA conference.  As in the past, a Professional CCEA member at the school site must sponsor each student entry.


  1. Essay must be typed, not exceed two typewritten pages and be presented in 12- point font, either Arial or Times New Roman.
  2. The essay must include a cover sheet including: student name, age, and grade level, name of school currently attending. length of time enrolled in that school and name of professional CCEA member sponsoring this student. The purpose of this contest is to recognize our outstanding students and their writing. The student’s name must NOT be on the essay but only on the cover page. Including their future plans and/or goals within any of the following essay topics is highly recommended.
  3. Include Sponsors Contact information: CCEA Professional members name and email or CCEA school membership information and contact email.

Essay Topics:

  1. How I Turned Failure Into Success at _______________ High School.
  2. Why Does ____________ High School Work for Me?
  3. Why ____________High School is a Model School.
  4. Each of us has a person, a day or an event that has changed our lives forever. Describe that person, day or event and explain why and how it/they have changed your life.

Scoring Rubric:

10% — Grammar/Syntax/Spelling/Punctuation.
20% — Use of colorful, descriptive language that allows the reader to gain a clear picture of student’s thoughts, ideas and experiences.
20%  — Flow of essay showing continuity and good thought.
40%  — Addresses the topic in a clear and well-developed manner.
10% — Creativity.

Suggested Essay Contest Timeline:

March 1 – April 1
Assign essay, conduct site contests and select school winner(s).

* Note : Since this is a CCEA essay contest, your school must have either a school membership or at least one staff member who is a professional member of CCEA to enter.

Submit school or district winning essay(s). On cover page, include school name, teacher/counselor sponsor information, CCEA district number and student contact information along with an email version of your school or district winning essay(s) to Dr. Mike Ilic at:

*** All entries must be received no later than Friday April 8th .

*** Each school may enter one senior and one junior essay.

By Friday, April 15th:

All district entries will be read; winners will be notified at their school sites. We would love to have student winners read their essays at the conference. Since distance and resources can be a challenge, it is suggested that perhaps a student could be videotaped reading their winning essay and this could be shown at the conference. Having students read their essays in person has been one of the highlights of the conference. I think it is an incredible opportunity for the student to be recognized. If your student wins the essay contest and can attend the award ceremony it would be great. If not please consider making a video of them.

* Note: The amount of these scholarships varies depending on how much is raised at the conference from raffles and silent and live auctions of donated goods. These items are donated by each of your continuation districts and/or individual schools. We hope that each CCEA district or possibly each school will consider bringing a basket or item to donate and support our students.

For Questions, Please Contact:

Dr. Mike Ilic
CCEA President
Email: cceapres (at) att (dot) net
Contact: Send us a message

Click on the link for printable PDF — CCEA Essay Contest