Izzy Ostrowski with her first-place Power of the Pen trophy.
The district's middle school teams have advanced the most writers in years to the regional round of the Power of the Pen competition, following an outstanding showing in the first round Jan. 18, including first place overall for Garfield 8th grader Izzy Ostrowski and third place for Harding's 7th grade team.
Seven writers from the 7th & 8th grade teams from Garfield qualified for Regionals and all but one of Harding's writers on both teams qualified. That means 18 students will be competing for Lakewood in the regional competition on March 15 at St. Joseph Academy.
Also recently announced were additional awards from the district round. Harding's Ella Calleri and Veronica Lee each were awarded Director's Choice, Best of Round awards for one of their stories and Micah Inak won a Superior Honors award.
The Power of the Pen competition is made up of three rounds where the writers are given prompts to jump-start a story. The writers only have 40 minutes to finish their essay or short story. Some of the prompts the students had to tackle at districts were: "You've been sent to your room to suffer in silence. Describe yourself at this task" and "Once upon a ____. Fill in the blank, but do not use the word time."
At the end of the rounds, awards are given for the top 15 individuals as well of “Best of Round” awards for the top story in each round. Garfield 7th grader Era Bakia earned a “Best of Round” award for her third-round story.
In addition to Ostrowski’s first-place finish, the following writers earned a medal or trophy by placing in the top 20 at districts:
9th place: Micah Inak (8th, Harding)
13th place: Samantha Stone (7th, Harding)
14th place: Nate Bilski (7th, Harding)
The following are the schools’ Power of the Pen team members (regional qualifiers in bold):
8th Grade: Sarah Bene, Grace Cooper, Abbey Miller, Izzy Ostrowski, Lizzie Shuga and Mira Vainis
7th Grade: Era Bakia, Nicholas Cleary, Corrina Cooper, Clara McGuan, Solana Petrone, Declan Rohrs
Garfield Co-Coaches: Haley McDonough & Maggie Bacher
8th Grade Coach: Casey Chanter, Micah Inak, Veronica Lee, Sophia Parker, Saige Rook and Claire Walkosak
8th Grade Coach: Ruth Pangrace
7th Grade: Nate Bilski, Ella Calleri, Emily Perry, Lalia Williams-Riseng, Samantha Stone and Nina Zanghi
7th Grade Coach: Pam Sheils