Students were asked to write about their best day in school for the Minnesota Charter Public School Writing Contest. Vincent Smith wrote that his best day was when he got suspended, because that helped him to change for the better. He said, “It feel
s great to be a leader, not a follower.”
Vincent Smith Jr., a second grader at Urban Academy, won first place in the grades K-2 category. More than 2,200 students from almost 50 charter public schools submitted entries. This was a record number of entries for this annual contest. Smith’s entry was judged the best among almost 800 entries in his category.
Smith received loud applause when he read his essay at the award ceremony that was held at the Minnesota State Capitol. Sandy Papas, a state senator from St. Paul, paid him a personal visit and listened to him read his essay. Smith was so inspired that he says he would like to be a senator, too.
Vincent Smith’s essay: “My Best Day at School”
My best day in school was when I got suspended for punching a classmate. I have not been behaving well in school. I have been rude. I have been talking and fighting instead of working. I even stole candy. When my friends were bad, I would follow.
Getting suspended got me thinking. My Dad is in prison but he often calls me. He is good but he did something bad. I figured I was the same. I am good but I do bad things. Being bad is not cool.
The day I got suspended was the best day because it helped me change. Now, I stay away from trouble. I have become a role model. It feels great to be a leader and not a follower.