by Ivan Foley
Mara Tharp is the winner of the 36th annual The Landmark English award, an annual honor given to a Platte County R-3 High School senior.
The award was begun in 1982 to foster an interest in the English language among young people. A faculty panel at the school chooses the award winner. The newspaper has provided anywhere from $100 cash to $250 cash winners each of the past 36 years. Winners also receive a certificate suitable for framing.
Mara Tharp in her time at Platte County High School has been editor in chief of the Pirate Clipper, which is the high school newspaper. Both the Clipper as a publication and Mara for individual feature writing have been honored with awards in her time at the high scool. She has also been president of the National Honor Society at the high school.
Mara is the daughter of Julie and Steve Weaver and Adam and Leanne Tharp. She resides in Kansas City in Platte County.
Mara says she plans to attend Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. As of now, her plan is to have a study area in English with a minor in leadership studies.
“I know I am going to do something with writing. My entire life, writing has been the one thing that has stayed constant. Whether it be in journalism or literary writing, I can’t see myself doing anything but that,” she said.
The complete list of Landmark English Award winners:
1982: Natalie Parrett; 1983: Tamera Jones; 1984: Shane Lee Zembles; 1985: Amy Deterding;
1986: Chaundra Crawford; 1987: Sherry Stanton; 1988: Rebecca Ann Brown; 1989: Lisa Pancake; 1990: Jennifer Fowler; 1991: Jennifer Donnelli; 1992: Tyra Miller; 1993: James Davis; 1994: Megan Boddicker; 1995: Kerry Durrill; 1996: Jamie Knodel; 1997: Laura Donald; 1998: Christa Fuller; 1999: Alison Miller; 2000: Alison Coons; 2001: Valerie French; 2002: Devon Paul; 2003: Tara Gutshall; 2004: Elizabeth Anderson; 2005: Anne Mullins; 2006: Branson Billings; 2007: Kelsie Blakley; 2008: Peter Rasmussen; 2009: Hannah Rickman; 2010: Kelsey Boeding; 2011: Sean Carder; 2012: Brian Geran; 2013: Hailey Godburn; 2014: Sam Danley; 2015: Abagale Godfrey; 2016: Madison McBratney; 2017: Mara Tharp.