Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School is proud to announce our very own Holtie Ware placed sixth in the state in the 50th Annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

With over 13,000 entries from over 400 junior highs and middle school on the topic of “My Personal Michigan Hero”, Ware’s touching essay on his great grandmother, Alice Stieber, landed him in the top 10. His prize package included a plaque, a medallion, and a cash award of $2,000. As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the contest, Farm Bureau also presented Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School with $1,000 check along with an extra $500 thanks to a sponsorship from local Farm Bureau Insurance agent and Laker Class of 1985, Steve Robak.


L to R: Swearingen, Ware, Robak; Photo from: Farm Bureau Insurance Michigan Facebook Page

The top 10 statewide winners were celebrated in Lansing yesterday. Finalists attended an awards banquet on the Michigan Princess Riverboat, met with Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist at the capitol, and were special honorees at the Lansing Lugnuts baseball game, both singing the national anthem and assisting with Cooley Law School Stadium giveaways. Ware and his parents were blown away by the day.

Stephanie Swearingen, Ware’s English Literature teacher, commented, “Lakes has never had a student honored at the state level before. Congrats to Holtie and his amazing achievement!”

You can read Ware’s sixth place entry here.


Read coverage on this from The Oakland Press here.

Educating students in grades PreK through 12 for over 60 years, Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School provides an educational experience grounded in Catholic Tradition, personal discipline and academic excellence. We offer small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios in a safe and secure family-oriented community. Weekly Mass complements a fully integrated one-to-one iPad program, championship athletics, K-12 robotics program, before and after school care, and much more!