Present and Past Judges

Contest Panel Judges select the most creative entries by grade level.

How submissions are graded:

Since 1997, a panel of Orange County teachers have been designated as contest judges to evaluate every submission.  No teacher is allowed to judge any submission from his or her school and can only judge submissions from other schools. This eliminates the possibility of bias. 

Participants are evaluated for creativity by grade level. Participants are graded within each classroom to allow friendly competition.  A lower advanced class, for example, does not compete with a more advanced class.  Since judges may read thousands of submissions, it is helpful that students use innovative phrases and creative word choices. 

When first-prize winners are culled into a final best-of-the-best stack, the grand-prize Diamond Winner is chosen by founder Diamond Mike Watson.  To maintain the integrity of the contest, every effort is made to ensure these excellent essays are completed in class, are not plagiarized, and appear to be the student’s normal writing ability. 

Sherri Adams

Jennifer Ahn

Hazel Alvarez

Michele Arbozow

Teri Azvedo

Sandra Babic

Marina Baltazar

Cristina Barber

Kim Bass

Jan Bryant

Jennifer Busby

Roxanne Blake

Sharon Cecchi

Jeff Chien

Gail Dasno

Danille DeFrank

Kathy DiCato

Leilani DiCato

A. Kalfus-Diaz

Paulette Dunn

Shelli Eckenrod

Amanda Estrada

Jamey Flynn

Jennifer Ferrara

Colleen Ferreira

Randi Finney

Amanda Frazier

Jane Freet

Karen French

Gail Gilpin

Stephanie Goodenough

Jim Harris

Tracy Heck

Marina Hernandez

Sonya Hollon

Debbie Ingram

Annie Kensinger

Jamie Lassaude

Laura Little

Maggie Lopez

John MacMurray

Kathi Manuel

Anne Marie

Nancy Marosi

Michelle Matney

Janette Mattoon

Elizabeth Merket

Katie Michels

Bonnie Morse

M’Liss Patterson

Esmeralda Pulido

Mike Rager

Jan Richards

Judy Richonne

Angie Rumsey

Debbie Ronstadt

Cyndi Robbins

Valarie Ruig

Elaine Sandberg

Nicole Schlosser

Debra Sheehan

Diane Sinclair

Marsha Sipkovich

Anna Smith

Mindy Steele

Marianne Stewart

Laura Sutton

Mary Wilson

Hoa Tran

Rochelle Wolf