Oyster River Students Honored by Scholastic Writing Awards

Oyster River Cooperative School District
SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824

For Immediate Release

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Oyster River Students Honored by Scholastic Writing Awards

Several Oyster River Middle School students have been recognized for their original writing submissions to the 2019 Scholastic Writing Awards. Back row, left to right: Tyler Nelson, Marcus Anderson, Justin Partis, Michael O’Laughlin, Henry Hagen, Annika Baumgardt, Madelyn Marthouse, Julia Kinsey, Paige Burt. Front row, left to right: Elsie Paxton, Ava Gruner, Elizabeth Walent, Dillon Crockett, Kelly Zhang, Amelia Nott, Zoe Selig, Mary Jeong, Libby Davidson. Not pictured: Sabrina Golden and Sophie Meyer. (Photo Courtesy of Oyster River Cooperative School District)

DURHAM – Superintendent James Morse is pleased to announce that several eighth grade students at Oyster River Middle School have been recognized by the 2019 Scholastic Writing Awards.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards annually recognize middle and high school students from across the United States for their exceptional art and writing work, and offers students the opportunity to have their submissions publicly displayed and published.

In the state of New Hampshire, 750 submissions were entered into the Scholastic Writing Awards by middle and high school students. Of those, 76 submissions were awarded Gold Keys, 158 submissions received Silver Keys, and 105 Honorable Mentions were given statewide.

Submissions to the Scholastic Writing Awards are judged on their originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

“Oyster River students have represented the district very well in the Scholastic Writing Awards, year after year,” Superintendent Morse said. “The poems, personal essays, short stories, and other works submitted this year reflect their hard work and talent for writing. It’s a pleasure to see their submissions recognized.”

At Oyster River Middle School, eight students were awarded Gold Keys for their work, eight students received Silver Keys, and seven students were given Honorable Mentions.

Gold Key recipients at Oyster River Middle include Annika Baumgardt for her poem “taste the rainbow,” Dillon Crockett for his personal essay “Floating,” Ava Gruner for her personal essay “Taken by the Wind,” Henry Hagen for his personal essay “Home is a Place with a Purple Fence,” Julia Kinsey for her poem “The Children of War,” Sophie Meyer for her poem “Tallying the Daily Dead,” Amelia Nott for her short story “When the Light Shines,” and Elsie Paxton for her poem “Your Words.”

“When I found out I won a gold key, I was really proud of myself,” said Dillon Crockett, an eighth grade student. “The fact that something that I wrote was recognized was really important to me.”

“I wrote down what I was feeling and what I remembered feeling,” said Ava Gruner, an eighth grade student, about her Gold Key winning personal essay. “While I was revising my memoir, I took out unnecessary dialogue that made it less dramatic, and I tried to make whoever was listening infer what I was feeling.”

“I was surprised when I won a gold key just because I never thought I would write something that other people would actually recognize and understand what I was trying to say,” she added. “I was pretty happy to see what I wrote getting recognized because I put so much emotion into it.”

Silver Keys were awarded to Annika Baumgardt for her poem “Ordinary Eyes,” Libby Davidson for her personal essay “I Live to Be Me,” Sabrina Golden for her flash fiction piece “The Unanswered Questions That Never Stopped Hurting,” Madelyn Marthouse for her personal essay “I Didn’t Even Get to Say Goodbye” and her poem “Some Will Never See Home Again,” Sophie Meyer for her personal essay “How to Say Goodbye,” Tyler Nelson for the poem “Twinkle Twinkle,” Amelia Nott for her science fiction/fantasy piece “A Spill of Ink,” and Elizabeth Walent for her poem “The (not so) Perfect World.”

“I actually wrote both of my poems in a three day period,” said Annika Baumgardt, an eighth grade student who was awarded both a Gold and a Silver Key. “I never really liked writing poetry, and writing in general wasn’t really my strong suit, but I was really in a creative mood when I started writing and I was surprised that I came up with something I was proud of. This was really the first time I’ve taken poetry writing seriously, and now I’m more open to writing other poems.”

Several students were also given Honorable Mentions, including Marcus Anderson for his flash fiction piece “Kamikaze,” Paige Burt for her poem “The World Needs to Make a Change,” Mary Jeong for her personal essay “White Cat on Daisy Drive,” Michael O’Laughlin for his personal essay “Wedding Band,” Justin Partis for his personal essay “When Calm Peaks” and his poem “Storm,” Zoe Selig for her poem “Refugees, Not Enemies,” and Kelly Zhang for her critical essay “You’ll Get Run Over, Honey.”

Students that were recognized in the 2019 Scholastic Writing Awards will be honored in an Awards Ceremony at Plymouth State University this May. Winning submissions will also be published in “Middle High School Voices,” an anthology of award winning writing by New Hampshire middle and high school students.

The 2019 Scholastic Writing Awards and “Middle High School Voices” was sponsored locally by the National Writing Project in New Hampshire.

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