Law Day Art and Writing Contest Winners

The OBA Law Day Committee would like to thank Oklahoma educators, students and their families for participating in the 2018 Law Day Contest. This year, more than 900 students from 55 schools in 19 counties across the state entered the contest. This year’s theme was “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.” First- through 12th-grade students demonstrated their knowledge of the history and concepts of the theme through essays and multimedia art. Pre-K and kindergarten students were given a choice of coloring activity pages related to the theme, allowing them to show off their budding creative and writing abilities. For both elementary and secondary students, the contest gave them an opportunity to explore how state and federal separation of powers helps guarantee and protect all Americans’ rights. Congratulations to all of our 2017 Law Day Contest winners! 

Click on an entry to see it larger or continue reading.

Grand Prize

Twelfth Grade Art

Jonathan Coleman

Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa



Pre-K Coloring

First Place

Kaley Stricklen

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Second Place

Makena Murimi

South Rock Creek School, Shawnee


Honorable Mentions: Bentley Keener, Salina Elementary School, Salina; Ruby Caperton, McFarlin Bright Beginnings Academy - Madison Elementary, Norman


Kindergarten Coloring

First Place

Berlin Hutton

Seiling Elementary School, Seiling


Second Place

Amelia Kwok

Nichols Hills Elementary, Oklahoma City


Honorable Mentions: Avery Garrison, Seiling Elementary School, Seiling; Eli Foster, All Saints Catholic School, Norman; Jake Sander, Seiling Elementary School, Seiling; Kamon Fisher, Seiling Elementary School, Seiling; Mason Buchmiller, Seiling Elementary School, Seiling


First Grade Art

First Place

Bruce Campbell

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Second Place

Sophie Buchanan

Virginia Smith Elementary, Harrah


Honorable Mentions: Cael Gensman, Covenant Community School, Stillwater; Uriah Bark, Salina Elementary School, Salina


First Grade Writing

First Place

Chloe Longnecker

Hope Christian Academy, Skiatook



Second Place

Jude Wier

Hope Christian Academy, Skiatook

Honorable Mention: Rivir Worley, Hope Christian Academy, Skiatook


Second Grade Art

First Place

Elizabeth Kwok

Nichols Hills Elementary, Oklahoma City



Dustin Hitchcock

Second Place

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Second Grade Writing

First Place

Cyrus Vij

West Field Elementary, Edmond

Our Democratic Heritage 

United States of America does not have king or queen because citizens of the 13 colonies started saying "no" to the things king or queen wanted, and they started a revolutionary war. After that, they were free so USA became democratic country and George Washington was the first president. The United States has three branches Judicial, Executive, and Legislative. All the branches share power, legislative makes the bill and in executive branch president pass the bill and judicial impose after it becomes a law with most votes. Continue reading...


Second Place

Jacob Katzung

Covenant Community School, Stillwater

Honorable Mentions: Camille Sanders, Salina Elementary School, Salina; Gracelyn Reding, Covenant Community School, Stillwater


Third Grade Art

First Place

Paetyn Gilliam

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Second Place

Dylan Mills

Salina Elementary School, Salina


Honorable Mentions: Parker Mahoney, Covenant Community School, Stillwater; Ms. Leeta Carter's and Ms. Belinda Stevenson's 2017-2018 Class, Hope Christian Academy, Skiatook (Azariah Douglas, Daisy Reid, Emily Rickey, Emmitt Griffin, Jaylie Thomas, Kaden Kehler, Kross Perkins, Luke Orth, Madison Miller, Sophia Chastain)


Third Grade Writing

First Place

Maxine Nevarez

Jackson Elementary, Pauls Valley


Second Place

Vann Nasalroad

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Fourth Grade Art

First Place

Miles Bryant

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Second Place

Natalie Bryant

Covenant Community School, Stillwater


Honorable Mentions: Ainsley Wyatt, Bixby Central Intermediate, Bixby; Braden Hibler, Grove Elementary, Shawnee


Fourth Grade Writing

First Place

Avery Walther

Nichols Upper Elementary, Miami

Separation of Powers 

The United States government established three separate branches of power. The Constitution divides the powers of the federal government among three branches. The three branches of government are the Legislative branch, the Executive branch, and the Judicial branch. Continue Reading...


Second Place

Kyndal Sadler

Covenant Community School, Stillwater

The Three Branches of the U.S. Government 

When our Founding Fathers set up our government they established the Checks and Balance methodology. The first branch of government is the Executive Branch. This branch of government is reserved for the President of the United States. The President has the power to make executive orders and make split second decisions that affect our country's security. However, the court systems have the authority to overrule the President if needed. They represent the Judicial Branch of the government. There are various district courts located all over the United States. Continue reading...


Honorable Mentions: Callie Chitwood, Salina Elementary School, Salina; Grant Lawless, Nichols Upper Elementary, Miami; Rachel Martinez, Hope Christian Academy, Skiatook


Fifth Grade Art

First Place

Julia Chen

Fisher Elementary, Oklahoma City



Second Place

Makenna Stephenson

Fifth Grade Art

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Honorable Mention: Jaelon Ramsey, Nichols Upper Elementary, Miami


Fifth Grade Writing

First Place

Maci Hall

Middleberg Public Schools, Blanchard

Creating the United States

The three branches legislative, executive and judicial were established in order to all have the same power. The government wanted to protect all individuals’ freedom and prevent power abuse. The theory behind that choice was that there would always be some person or institution that rules a nation. It needs power in order to function. More power than the Articles of Confederation provided. Continue reading...

Second Place

Gage Ellison

Middleberg Public Schools, Blanchard

United States Branches of Government The United States created the three branches of government in order that on one has more power than the next branch. This was done to help the people of the United States. It also made the separation of powers foundation, checks and balances in order that equal power is handed out. Continue reading...


Honorable Mentions: Akilah Coats, Nichols Upper Elementary, Miami; BK Auku, Nichols Upper Elementary, Miami; Delanie Roblyer, Nichols Upper Elementary, Miami


Sixth Grade Art

First Place

Jaziel E. Villapando

Waller Middle School, Enid





Second Place

Loren Simpson

Waller Middle School, Enid

Honorable Mentions: McKenzie Findley, Covenant Community School, Stillwater; Emma Holland, Waller Middle School, Enid


Sixth Grade Writing

First Place

Olivia Shelton

Middleberg Public Schools, Blanchard

Separation of Powers in Branches

Did you know that the U.S. was the first nation to have separation of powers in branches? Well, I am here to tell you why separation of powers were set in place, and why they are important. First we are going to talk about checks and balances. Continue reading...


Second Place

Trevor Waugh

Newman Middle School, Skiatook

The Separation of the Three Branches of Government and Its Importance Haiku

Government power
Our design is the very best
Heads above the rest
England had a king
When we gained independence
No more tyranny
Our founders were wise
Gave power to the people
A mixed government
Separate powers
With three different branches
Checks and balances
Continue reading....

Honorable Mentions: Syreena Tallant, Middleberg Public Schools, Blanchard; Esther Zhu, Jenks Public Schools, Jenks


Seventh Grade Art

First Place

Elsa Stewart

Waller Middle School, Enid



Second Place

Kadie Evans

Waller Middle School, Enid


Honorable Mention: Jocelyn Kuhlmann, Tonkawa Middle / High School, Tonkawa


Seventh Grade Writing

First Place

Jaci Reagle

Middleberg Public Schools, Blanchard

What Would Happen?

What do you think would happen if there were no separation of powers, or only one branch of government, or if all the nations in the world were led by one branch or person? Complete disorder and confusion, or what I like to call chaos. I'm going to tell you about separation of powers and the three branches of government in the Eastern Hemisphere. So here goes something. Continue reading...


Second Place

Clara Wright

Middleberg Public Schools, Blanchard

Separation of Powers 

The concept and implementation of separation of powers was most important in American history during the Founding Father's creation of an effective constitutional structure of political institutions. The Constitution set up the Nation's future by establishing a system of checks and balances in government and protecting the rights of citizens. Two important aspects of the U.S. Constitution are federalism and the separation of powers, these ideas represent the framers’ efforts to divide governmental power. Continue reading...


Honorable Mentions: Rachel Means, Tonkawa Middle / High School, Tonkawa; Ashley Warrior, Tonkawa Middle / High School, Tonkawa


Eighth Grade Art

First Place

Thomas Buchanan

Harrah Middle School, Harrah



Second Place

Harley Angel

Covenant Community School, Stillwater



Honorable Mentions: Shabab Kabir, Middle School of Peidmont, Peidmont; Savannah Linton, Tonkawa Middle / High School, Tonkawa; Taylor Stotts, Waller Middle School, Enid


Eighth Grade Writing

First Place

Charlie McDonald

Monte Cassino School, Tulsa

The People's Rights

Every day, people around the world strive for an equal and safe society. Whether it be in our communities, state or nation,leaders and innovators change our society for the better. Burdened with the task of creating a new republic that paved the way for change, the Founding Fathers created the system of checks and balances, or a system of division of power. Ensuring the future and legacy of the new country, they split power apart between divisions of the government. Because of the system of checks and balances that were introduced through the creation of the United States Constitution, the people's rights were valued and protected within the new government. Continue reading...


Second Place

Reese Woosley

Monte Cassino School, Tulsa

Peoples' Rights Protection

In the United States of America, we have a democracy. Under this democracy we need to have a stable government, which means we need to balance the Federal government's power. The Founding Fathers wanted to create checks and balances to equal out the branches of government. The framers were worried that the central government would misuse the power so they wrote the Constitution to create the separation of power. This made the Federal government's power balanced among three equal but separate parts. By splitting the federal government, each branch could check or limit the power over each other. The three branches are the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. Continue reading...


Honorable Mentions: Emily Dangott, Kiefer High School, Kiefer; Kaylee Whitchurch, Kiefer High School, Kiefer


Ninth Grade Art

First Place

Grace Jones

Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa



Second Place

Jeffrey Phillips

Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa



Ninth Grade Writing

First Place

Caleb Kolman

Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa

Free Verse Poem

Branches, resembling that of a tree,
A single body, many intricate parts.
Operating together to accomplish a goal,
Each possessing its own job, its own level of importance.
United as one, divided into many,
Like the citizens which they protect.
Great minds in action,
One mind chosen to oversee all.
Balanced equally,
No one branch to become too powerful, or it will fall.
Established to protect,
Upheld to withstand.
The principles of our forefathers,
Instituted into modernity.


Second Place

Kalyn Venable

Kiefer High School, Kiefer

Law Day Poem

Executive,
Legislative,
Judicial,
No one branch has
All of the powers.
The Legislative branch
Passes the law,
The Executive Branch
Enforces the plan,
The Judicial branch
Interprets the law.
To divide the powers.
The branches depend
On each other so that they can
Get the work done.
A Law must pass
Through all branches to be approved.
This is what we call
Checks and Balances.
This is what we call
The Separation of Powers.


Honorable Mentions: Katie Leigh, Kiefer High School, Kiefer; Treyvon Turner, Kiefer High School, Kiefer


Tenth Grade Art

First Place

Katie Williams

Pocola Middle School, Pocola



Second Place

Lindsay Bolino

Norman North High School, Norman



Honorable Mention: Viktoria Morris, Sallisaw High School, Sallisaw


Tenth Grade Writing

First Place

Bianca Karnes

Lawton High School, Lawton

Law Day

On December 27 of 2017, I went to the public library in the town of Lawton, Oklahoma, to find research material for a school assignment. While I was wandering through the rows and rows of books, I took observations of the people around me. The realization then hit me. The realization that many of the people around me right now probably wouldn't be here right now if it was not for the checks and balances placed on the government through the case of Skinner v. Oklahoma in 1942. This life altering case involved the end of sterilization in habitual criminals and psychiatric patients across the state. Therefore, the Skinner v. Oklahoma case shows the continuous importance of the checks and balance system in American society. Continue reading...


Second Place

Kristen Morgan

Salina

Separation of Powers; Unequal Powers

It is commonly believed that all branches of America's government are equal. But is this modern day conclusion truly what history reveals? Is this conclusion what America's founding fathers had in mind while they created the constitution? The people of the United States of America have been blinded by the Supreme Court and not many realize it. As a nation, the people are experiencing a takeover. It is quiet, it is slow, but it is happening. The worst thing about the whole situation is that the American people are allowing it to happen right in front of them. They have allowed one branch of government to control them. Continue reading...


Honorable Mention: Kylee Sohl, Lawton High School, Lawton


Eleventh Grade Art

First Place

Helena Singleton

Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa



Second Place

Haliegh Saulter

Pocola Middle School, Pocola



Honorable Mention: Jaycee Everett, Covenant Community School, Stillwater


Eleventh Grade Writing

First Place

Christine Nguyen

Edmond Santa Fe High School, Edmond

Abraham Lincoln: The Liberator or Liberty Violator

President Abraham Lincoln once said, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. Although sixteenth president Abraham Lincoln is widely appraised for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and preserving the Union, he is widely criticized for his use of executive power throughout the Civil War. President Lincoln fundamentally changed the authority of the president and the state through his exercise of power throughout his term. Continue reading...


Second Place

Cassidy Beck

Pawnee High School, Pawnee

Protecting the Rights of the People

As Thomas Jefferson stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" ("Declaration of Independence"). At times, the people's rights may be tested or violated, but the primary role of the judicial branch of government is to interpret the Constitution and determine which laws and policies are constitutional. This function ultimately protects an individual's rights as a citizen. The judicial branch uses the process of judicial review to secure rights and define responsibilities given within the constitution. Continue reading...


Honorable Mention: Jada Haken, Pawnee High School, Pawnee


Twelfth Grade Art

First Place

J. Michael Bond

Mount St. Mary Catholic High School, Oklahoma City



Second Place

Peyton Buchanan

Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa



Honorable Mention: Molly Dudley, Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa


Twelfth Grade Writing

First Place

Morgan Duckwall

Newcastle High School, Newcastle

The Continuing Importance of 'Checks and Balances

The world seems to be full of quotes about balance, that "life is all about balance" or "balance is key". This is very true, in order for anything to succeed in our world it must have a certain level of balance. This is especially accurate when talking about our government. The United States achieves this kind of equilibrium though the system of Checks and Balances and the structure of Separation of Powers. These two components are extremely crucial parts of the US government and have exhibited examples of how they provide balance to the running of our country. Continue reading...


Second Place

Lucy Miller

Kiefer High School, Kiefer



Honorable Mention: Jensen Gressett, MingoValley Christian School, Tulsa

Honorable Mention: Jensen Gressett, Mingo Valley Christian School, Tulsa