The 2012 "Dollar Bill" Presidents Day Essay Contest" is open to all Middle and Senior High School students residing within the geographic bounds of Lehighton Area School District, including private, charter and homeschool students. The first prize of a $150 U.S. savings bond will be awarded by the Lehighton Area Republican Club, the sponsoring organization, for the best essay, according to a panel of qualified impartial judges. Also two runners-up will receive $50 savings bonds. Judging criteria include originality, accuracy and composition, but not the opinion expressed. Each contestant may submit one essay, of 500 words or less on only one of three subjects listed below, marked with the name, school and grade level of the contestant, and a phone number and/or email address. All entries must be received by the sponsor by 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, one week after the national holiday. Contestants may mail or hand deliver entries directly to the LARC c/o CCRC at 198 S. First St., Lehighton, 18235 or deliver to a school principal's office, where all the gathered entries will be picked up by runners just after 3 p.m. on Feb. 27, weather permitting.

For more information, call 570-656-1721 or 570-280-5358 or send email to www.carbonchair1@aol.com or celticdusk. g@gmail.com.

Here are the three essay subject choices, for 2012: President Thomas Jefferson, who is pictured on the $2 bill, arranged for what he considered his three most important achievements to be engraved on his tombstone. So the first essay subject choice is: "What Jefferson considered his most important achievement and why he thought so," President Andrew Jackson, who is pictured on the $20 bill, stated clearly (when asked by Van Buren) what he considered the most important achievement of his presidency. So the second essay subject choice is: "What Jackson considered his most important achievement and how and why he did it."President JAMES MADISON, the champion of checks and balances or separation of powers, as well as national independence and individual liberty, who was pictured on a $5,000 bill no longer issued, said, "Perhaps it is a universal truth that loss of liberty at home is charged to provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad" - and that "of all the enemies of liberty, war is perhaps most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other" - and that "the means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." So the third essay choice: What Madison meant and whether his concern was justified."

Last year one first prize of $150 was awarded, at the public meeting of the Lehighton School Board, but this year three prizes will be awarded, and the chances of winning are increased. This a local contest, limited to residents of our community, and designed to bring greater attention to the thoughts and achievements of past Presidents on this national holiday."