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Recent Alumnae Advance to the Fourth Round of the NY Times Student Editorial Contest

ny times editorial contestMembers of the Class of 2021 Hope Falon-Mazer and Lisa Lam advanced to the fourth round of the eighth annual New York Times Student Editorial Contest with the opinion piece “Your Death is Hurting the Environment.” 

Newspaper editorial writing is a collaborative process, and students were encouraged to collaborate. Under the tutelage of CHS English Department Chair Kristin Keiser, Lam and Falon-Mazer wrote an essay which implored readers “to move on from the traditional ways of burial and implement eco-friendly alternatives,” and illustrated how traditional casket burial and cremation both have negative impacts on the environment.

"I’m so proud of them, especially given the circumstances this past year," Keiser said. “I want students writing for a real-world audience and the student editorial contest is one component of a larger argument unit in which students debate, host a town hall, and write on a topic about which they have a strong point of view.”

A McNulty Scholar at Saint Joseph’s, Lam and Falon-Mazer, who’s studying at George Mason, follow in the footsteps of Maggie Morrison ’20 and Oren Schwartz ’20 who earned an honorable mention in the 2020 student editorial contest for their essay “The College Board Board Game: Monopoly.”

The contest received the most entries in its history - more than 11,200 - from across the globe after inviting students ages 11 to 19 to write about the issues that matter to them in 450 words or fewer. More specifically, students were asked leading questions such as “What makes you mad?” and “What would you like to see change?” From among those thousands of editorials, NY Times judges chose 10 winners, 16 runners-up and 26 honorable mentions.

According to, entries focused on snow days being replaced with remote learning; food waste that contributes to climate change; anti-Asian discrimination; exploitation of gig workers; expectations around women’s body hair; school shootings; Omission of the Oxford comma; gamers not being considered real athletes; and much, much more.