Ethan Holaday, a junior at Bowling Green High School (Bowling Green Independent), is the winner of the “Promote Your School” essay contest, sponsored by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

He earned a $500 college scholarship and the opportunity for his school to be featured in future college planning materials published by KHEAA.

The essay contest — which asked students to answer the question “What is the biggest challenge high school students face? — drew more than 200 entries from 60 high schools across the state.

In just 194 words, Holaday’s essay described social networking’s controlling effect on society.

Judges said Holaday’s advanced vocabulary grabbed their attention and made his entry stand out.

 They said Holaday’s essay excelled in grammar, subject matter and creative imagery and highlighted a universal theme for students across the country, not just in Kentucky.

“It’s refreshing to hear a modern teenager question the wisdom of excessive social networking,” said one judge.

Along with Holaday’s award, Bowling Green High School was named the Kentucky 2011 Model School and will be featured in marketing materials. Holaday and some of his fellow classmates will participate in a photo shoot at Bowling Green High School. The pictures will be used by KHEAA in free college planning guides for high school students, posters, brochures and other publications.

Holaday is the son of Cheryl Davis and Nathan Holaday, both of Bowling Green.