The winners of the fifth annual Dr. Samuel S. Gaines essay contest were recognized at the May 28, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting. The contest, sponsored since its inception by The Morganti Group which provides cash prizes for the winning entries, is part of the district’s recognition and celebration of African American history month. Local students in grades three to 12 may write an essay describing an African American person in St. Lucie County who has made a difference in the student’s life, explaining what the person did to make such an impact. The contest is named for Dr. Gaines, who served on the St. Lucie County School Board for 34 years, five times as chairman. At Dr. Gaines’ retirement in 2006, Superintendent Michael Lannon instituted the essay contest to honor Gaines’ legacy. Pictured, front row, from left, Sara Aube from Manatee Academy K-8, first place in middle school division; Maxwell Martzolf, from Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts, first place in elementary school division; Randall Peterson, from Dan McCarty School, third place in elementary school division; and Animesh Saha, from F. K. Sweet Elementary, first place in elementary school division. Back row, from left, Shelby Young, from Manatee Academy K8, third place in middle school division; School Board chairman Debbie Hawley; Vanessa Crawford, from Fort Pierce Central High School, first place in high school division; Michael Buckland from The Morganti Group; Christian Excorcia, from St. Lucie West Centennial High School, second place in the high school division; Dr. Gaines; Anthony Scott, from Fort Pierce Central High School, third place in the high school division, and Superintendent Michael Lannon. Not pictured is middle school division second place winner Shaketia Sneed from Forest Grove Middle School.