Posted On: Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Harding 7th & 8th grade teams with their 2nd (7th grade) and 3rd place (8th grade) trophies from the Power of the Pen district tournament.

Students from Harding and Garfield middle schools showcased their creative flair at the District Power of the Pen Writing Competition held on Feb. 5 at North Royalton Middle School. Of the 25 teams competing in the two grade-level competitions, Harding’s 7th grade team placed second and Harding’s 8th grade team took third place.

The contest is made up of three rounds where the writers are given prompts to jump-start a story. Some of this year’s prompts were “describe your worst fear,” “remember when you were too young to …..” and “somewhere you would rather be.” Besides the top 15 individual places awarded, Best of Rounds are also awarded for the top story in each round. Harding 7th grader Jimmy Toner was awarded a Best of Round for one of his stories. Harding 8th grader Renee Klann was awarded a Director's Choice - Best of Round, one of the highest honors given by the director of the contest.

Out of the 126 7th grade and 143 8th grade writers at the competition, the following writers earned medals by placing in the top 15:

11th place:       Erin Turner (8th, Harding)

12th place:       Jonathan Poilpre (8th, Garfield)

13th place:       Sara Shyte (8th, Garfield)

14th place:       Kathryn Urban (8th, Harding)

15th place:       Sarah Smith (8th, Harding)

“Power of the Pen is a great place to showcase one’s writing,” said Barb Lynch, serving her first year as Garfield coach. “I was amazed at the level of writing from our middle school students.”  

The next step for the statewide competition is the Regional Tournament. Just over 56% of the writers at the North Royalton district competition qualified for regionals, however Lakewood’s teams qualified 75% of their writers including Harding’s entire 7th grade team and 8th grade team.  That means the Lakewood City Schools contingent will be 20 strong at the Regional Tournament to be held April 9 at St. Joseph Academy in Cleveland.

The following are the schools’ Power of the Pen team members (includes alternates; regional qualifiers have asterisks):

Garfield Grade 7:
Allie Donegan*
Ella Howells*
Katelyn Martin*
Tess Marjanovic
Sage Petrone*
Angela Vogli

Garfield, Grade 8:
Julia Houk *
Jon Poilpre *
Sam Rothacker
Abigail Shuga *
Sara Shyte *
Carleigh Spence*

Garfield Coach:
Barb Lynch

Harding, Grade 7:
Amanda Cabot*
Veronica Gordon*
Zak Inak*
Jonny Latsko*
Tess Moran*
Jimmy Toner*

Harding, Grade 8:
Laert Fezjullari*
Renee Klann*
Maggie Pizzo* (alternate)
Sarah Smith*
Erin Turner*
Kathryn Urban*

Harding Coaches:

Ruth Pangrace
Pam Sheils


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