The Margaret Chase Smith Library announces the winners of its 15th annual essay contest, the theme of which this year was stewardship of the environment.

First prize of $500 went to Zoe Anderson of Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro. This fall Anderson will be attending the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, where she intends to major in human ecology. Her career aspiration is to become a veterinarian, specializing in large animals. Her most important life goal, however, “is to help others form a connection with this beautiful planet, so they will be willing to change their habits in favor of its future.”

The recipient of the $250 award for second place was Ali Clift from Bonny Eagle High School in Standish. Clift will continue her education at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. She plans to double major in marine science and environmental studies. Clift also believes humans need to moderate their habits for the good of the planet: “it is the small, day to day changes in habit that we must decide to make in order for our home in the universe to be around for the next day, week, year, millennium.”

Third place and $125 was presented to Allaina Murphy of St. Dominic Regional High School in Auburn. Murphy is bound for Bates College in Lewiston, where she will play basketball and study political science and English. Her approach to stewardship is that “problem-solving cannot be left entirely to the governmental experts; it is the responsibility of the population as a whole to protect the environment” through measures such as recycling.

In addition, the library awarded five honorable mention prizes of $25, along with a book about Senator Smith to: Devyn Bell from Dexter Regional High School, Joe Bosse of St. Dominic Regional High School, Sarabeth George from Bonny Eagle High School, Krysta Moulton of Madison Area Memorial High School, and Kaity Richard from Acadia Christian School in Trenton.

The theme for the 2012 Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest will be announced in the late fall of 2011. For further information, contact David Richards at or 474-7133.