Peabody Public Schools Announces Winners of George Peabody Essay Contest

April 6, 2023

Superintendent Josh Vadala is pleased to share that Peabody Public Schools third graders visited the George Peabody House and participated in the 32nd Annual George Peabody Essay Contest in partnership with the Peabody Historical Society.

The third grade trip to the George Peabody House is an annual affair, with each visit including a different theme for the essay contest that follows.

This year’s essay contest writing prompt was: “George Peabody was a great philanthropist who used his money to build housing for those in need, schools, libraries and museums. If you were a philanthropist, how would you use your money to help the world?”

Students learn about George Peabody and his works during the trip, which helps them better understate and appreciate local history.

The winners of this year’s essay contest are:

  • First Place — Constantine Moustakis — of Melissa Matuza’s class at the South School
  • Second Place — Olivia Lakkis — of Taylor Santry’s class at the Burke School
  • Third Place — Blake Ibbiston — of Colleen White’s class at the Center School
  • Honorable Mention — Liliana Gonzales — of Meagan Robinson’s class at Thomas Carroll Elementary
  • Honorable Mention — Jay Dellaporta — of Melissa LaHaye’s class at John E. McCarthy Elementary School

Constantine Moustakis, a third grader who won first place in the George Peabody essay contest, stands with, from left, Chester Graham Jr., of North Shore Bank, mother Shaniqua Ross and teacher Melissa Matuza. (Courtesy Peabody Public Schools)

Moustakis wrote that he would donate money to schools to improve technology, and build greenhouses that could be used to grow food to provide students with healthy lunches.

Lakkis wrote that she would donate money to provide health services for those in need.

Ibbiston wrote that he would give money to veterans to help them find housing and other supports.

From left, Center School Principal Sara Almeida, essay contest third place winner Blake Ibbiston, and teacher Colleen White. (Courtesy Peabody Public Schools)

“I am so proud of these students for the kindness, thoughtfulness and spirit of philanthropy that was expressed in their essays,” said Superintendent Vadala. “These students showed that they not only learned about the history of George Peabody, but that they share his admirable desire to help others.”

To learn more about the George Peabody House, click here.

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