Santa Paula Rotary: 4-Way Test essay contest draws winners

April 27, 2011
Santa Paula News

Five area students were winners of cash prizes in the Santa Paula Rotary Club “4-Way Test” Essay Competition.

Now the 1st Place essays in the high, middle and elementary grade level categories have been submitted to the District 5240 competition. Winners of the local competition received $75 for 1st Place, $50 for 2nd Place and $25 for 3rd Place.

Students were asked to offer their thoughts on the meaning of Rotary’s famous 4-Way Test, used to evaluate thoughts, words and actions by determining: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build good will and better friendships? 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

In the High School Division, 9th grader Tom Becher of Divine Grace School wrote his way to 1st Place with his essay, “Four-Way Test: Strengthener of Society.” Gerald Coughlin, a home-schooled 10th grade student, took 2nd Place; and Maura Collins, a Mt. Carmel 9th grade student was judged 3rd Place.

Home schooled 8th grader Francis Coughlin had 1st Place in the Middle School Division, and 6th grader Charles Coughlin ranked first in the Elementary School Division.

“It is gratifying to read the wonderful essays by our local students about Rotary’s 4-Way Test,” said Santa Paula Rotary Club President Paul Skeels.  “Considering the many distractions to which our young people are continually subjected, the clear thinking and concise articulation these students demonstrated in their written work confirms my belief that the ‘next generation’ is going to do just fine!  On behalf of the members of the Rotary Club of Santa Paula, I wish to thank all of the participants and their parents for participating in this worthy exercise.”

Skeels added, “Congratulations to our local winners....  We know that your essays will be very competitive in the District-wide contest.”

The tenants of the 4-Way Test have guided Rotary, an international organization founded in 1905 in Chicago by Paul Harris and friends, since 1942. The test was developed by Rotarian and entrepreneur Herbert J. Taylor during the Great Depression as a set of guidelines for restoring faltering businesses, and was adopted as the standard of ethics by Rotary in 1942.

Skeels said the 4-Way Test “is still seen as a standard for ethics in business management,” as well as personal relationships. “Interpretation of the test,” he added, “was a wonderful subject for a student essay.”

District 5240 Awards given will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place at each level -grade school, middle school and high school - for a total of nine awards.

Santa Paula Rotary meets Monday’s (except holidays and when other special events are planned) at noon at Logsdon’s at the Airport. If you are interested in becoming a member, ask a Rotarian friend or attend a luncheon meeting. Rotary is a fun way to help our community, with a special emphasis on youth and their development.

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