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Three SMES Students Recognized in Prestigious National English Competition

7 May 2013 admin 3,471 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

IMG_46082The National Council of Teachers of English has awarded junior Julianna Coleman a Certificate of Superior Writing for the 2013 Achievement Awards in Writing, and grade 8 students Katherine Adelman and Neal Singh Certificates of Recognition for the 2013 Promising Young Writers program. St. Margaret’s English Department was also awarded a certificate of recognition by the NCTE, for “excellence in its instructional program as revealed by its evident contribution to the high quality of writing of one or more of its students honored with NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing.”

Each year the NCTE presents several awards to recognize outstanding writing by students at all levels. The Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program to encourage high school students in their writing and to recognize publicly some of the best student writers in the nation. Only one student from St. Margaret’s was nominated for the competition.

“I nominated Julianna because she is an exceptionally gifted, but also a meticulous and hardworking, writer,” said Upper School English teacher Jamie Bunch. “Even though she chooses the most challenging topics to write about, she consistently earns the highest marks. Her impressive performance on formal essays also stems from her natural intellectual curiosity and the fact that she values learning for learning’s sake. She spends a great deal of time and effort on the writing process, and her writing progress is clearly evident as a result.”

A total of 753 juniors were nominated by their schools to participate in the 2013 Achievement Awards in Writing program with 155 chosen as outstanding writers. All compositions were evaluated by national judges on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development and style. Judges also looked for writing that demonstrated effective and imaginative use of language to inform and move an audience.

For the competition, Julianna submitted an essay she wrote on The American Romantics, a group of 19th century writers English III Honors students read and study in the fall. These writers include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Julianna chose to compare Emerson’s depiction of God to Dickinson’s depiction of God in her essay. In addition to the essay she wrote in Ms. Bunch’s class, Julianna wrote an additional piece for the 2013 NCTE theme “Personal Mount Rushmore.”

Katherine Adelman and Neal Singh were nominated for the Promising Young Writers program, a school-based writing program aimed at stimulating and recognizing student’s writing talents – emphasizing the importance of writing skills among grade 8 students. This year, 211 students were nominated nationally. Of that number, 51 received Certificates of Recognition and 160 received Certificates of Participation. Each student submitted two pieces of writing, which were read by national judges. Papers were judged on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development and style.

“We nominated Katherine and Neal to participate in the contest because both of them demonstrated excellence in writing assignments. They stood out as exceptionally strong writers/critical thinkers, in large part due to their commitments to the revision process. They also both have exceptional character and work habits, making them excellent representatives of our school,” said Middle School English teacher Jeni Johnson.

Katherine and Neal follow former NCTE PYW certificate recipients Julianna Coleman and Peighton McRobie, Class of 2015.


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