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Setting a Good Example

Winners of Rotary 4-way test essay competition

By Donna Clark and Tom Noreen

Eight classes participated this year in the Cedar Springs Rotary’s Annual 4-Way Test Essay Contest with the 5th grade at Cedar View Elementary. All essays were written at school in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the two best essays from their class, and from those 16, our 4-Way Committee, Julie Wheeler, Carolyn Davis and Donna Clark, were to choose three.

It was very hard to choose just three, so we didn’t—we chose five. We had a tie for 4th place!

The top three stories talk of the great example that was set by someone and then how that special example inspired them to change or respond in some way.

We read some great stories on the theme of Setting a Good Example, like my Grandma wrote the meaning of my name and put it on a plaque and I look at it every day; Kyanna encourages her little sister to do her homework, get a good education, and a good career; boredom can do strange things to boys, such as cause them to throw berries at Mrs. Penny’s house, run off when she appeared, and then later coming back to apologize and clean up the mess. Needless to say, it was very interesting for our committee to have the chance to read the top two essays from each class.

Rotary has developed a meaningful partnership with Principal Mike Duffy and the teachers and students of the 5th grade class over the years. Mrs. Boverhof has been our contact person for the essay writing partnership between Rotary and Cedar View for four years now.

Mrs. Boverhof noted, “Every year something new pops up. This year when I introduced the topic of ‘Setting a Good Example,’ I was met with blank stares.” She explained they could give examples. Hopefully as a result of these essays we will have “given the kids an awareness of what ‘setting a good example’ looks and feels like.”

This year’s winners are in order Nicole Kukla, Peyton Elliston, Mariah Reich and tied for fourth Blake Williams and Brandon Owens. You can find Nicole’s essay below.

One of the most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics in the world is the Rotary 4-Way Test. It was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932 when he was asked to take charge of the Chicago-based Club Aluminum Co., which was facing bankruptcy. Taylor looked for a way to save the struggling company mired in depression-caused financial difficulties. He drew up a 24-word code of ethics for all employees to follow in their business and professional lives. The 4-Way Test became the guide for sales, production, advertising and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company was credited to this simple philosophy. The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943.

Nicole’s essay:

My Mom My Hero

By Nicole Kukla

Incredible! That is what I think about my mom. She is a single mom who takes care of two kids, works Monday through Friday, and still has time to do exciting things with us. She has taught me so many things and is always setting a good example for me. One of the most important things she taught me is to never give up. It’s something she never does. She probably doesn’t even think about it. I have watched her do so many things, but the thing I never saw her do is give up.

My mom takes care of my sister and I all by herself. She feeds us, pays for sports, and most importantly puts a roof over our heads. I don’t know how she does it. She works so hard to make sure we are successful in everything we do. My sister and I are sometimes very hard to take care of because we argue. But we get along fifty percent of the time. On top of all of the other things she does, she works. I have never seen anybody work so hard before. My mom also has to make a ton of sacrifices for us. On the weekends, my mom takes us to sports. My sister has winter guard and I have soccer. She could be hanging out with her friends but she doesn’t. These are her famous words, “my kids come first.”

Sometimes my sister and I make sacrifices for our mom. Sometimes on the weekends, we like to hang out with her. It is like our way of saying thank you for everything that she does. Our sacrifices aren’t really important though because it is fun to spend time with her. When I’m older, I want to be like my mom and set good examples for the people around me.

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2 Responses to “Setting a Good Example”

  1. I thought all of these essays were OUTSTANDING!

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  1. [...] Last week I told you about how proud (and humbled) I was by Brandon’s aware-winning essay. The story was covered in the Cedar Springs Post, and you can read it here. [...]