Students in Macon County were recognized during Monday night's Board of Education meeting for excellence in writing. Macon County's local association, the Western Mountain Reading Council, spearheaded a Young Authors writing contest locally, and submitted the local winners to the North Carolina's Reading Association state-wide contest.
"We are so proud of all of our students and their achievement on the state level," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan.
According to Western Mountain Reading Council and Macon County School employee Diane Cotton, seven Macon County students ranging from sixth to 10th grade, as well as one teacher, were selected as winners on the state level in this year’s Young Authors Writing contest.
"Our Western Mountain Reading Council Young Author Chairpersons this year were Carol Bowen and Marty Greeble," said Cotton. "They coordinated the event from encouraging entries to coordinating judges and planning the celebration in March. It is a big undertaking and I appreciate the time and energy they put into providing our Macon County Children this opportunity."
The Western Mountain Reading Council has been participating in the state's contest for the past six years. The theme for this year's contest was "Play the Game," which was intended to provide students the opportunity to write about games that matter to them, in different genres, and for a wide audience.
Young authors were encouraged to write about games they play, inside and out or wherever they play games. They were directed to consider games they played when they were younger, games they shared with family and friends, games where they learned valuable lessons about working together, winning and/or losing, sports and other.
According to Cotton, the Western Mountain Reading Council's local contest procured 75 entries, 20 of which won on the local level. "The local and state winners will be honored at the Western Mountain Reading Council Young Author Celebration in March," said Cotton. "They will receive their trophies and medals. Each winner will be given the opportunity to read their poem or composition aloud to the audience. In addition, each state level winner is invited to attend the state celebration in Raleigh. They will receive a medal and a copy of a book with all the winning entries. All the state level winners will be published authors."
Entries were judged based on grade levels ranging from kindergarten to “Forever Young” (adult) entries. Criteria for the entries varied based on grade level, but focused on age-appropriate guidelines.
The state level winners for this year's contest were: Maggie Baldwin, a sixth grader from Mountain View Intermediate for her work, "A Pickled Christmas"; Allison Bolt, a tenth grader from Highlands School for her work, "Nothing More, Nothing Less"; Elijah Hawkins, a sixth grader from Mountain View Intermediate for his work, "God Bless Chess"; Leah Hoblit, a sixth grader from Mountain View Intermediate for her work, "Swept In"; Jacob McElroy, a 10th grader from Highlands School for his work "The Shot"; Olivia Scott, a sixth grader from Mountain View Intermediate for her work, "Soccer"; Treven Tallent, a sixth grader from Mountain View Intermediate for his work, "Buzzer Beater"; and Michelle Lane, a teacher from Highlands School who won the Forever Young award for her work, "Not a Game."