Gates Elementary takes third in online contest

O.B. Gates Elementary School came in third and earned $3,000 in a recent online contest to name America’s favorite school. Superintendent Marcus Newsome announced the results of the contest, sponsored by www.care2.com, at a press conference at Gates Elementary last week.

Teacher Samantha McMillian, who found the online contest while researching the school’s history, said the school was hoping for the top prize of $20,000, but “we came together as a community like I’ve never seen.” Parents were at the school with laptops to get votes by the May 21 deadline, she said.

Within 24 hours of McMillian finding the contest, Gates Elementary had more than 200 votes, she said, and “it just kept growing and getting bigger.” The school kept moving through the ranks, eventually reaching the top five. More and more people joined in the vote-gathering effort, she said, and more than 4,000 votes were cast on the final day of the contest.

“I think it was a really neat thing,” she said. “We won something more important, and that is community spirit.” The teachers will use the $3,000 for classroom materials.

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