District Logo
Independence Local Schools Language Arts Teacher Recognized for Power of the Pen: Community Voices
Independence Local Schools Language Arts Teacher Recognized for Power of the Pen: Community Voices Jill Wagner, Language Arts Teacher at Independence Middle School
In addition to being a Language Arts teacher at Independence Middle School, Jill Wagner is also the adviser to the school's Power of the Pen team. The Power of the Pen is an educational enhancement program that aims to have interscholastic tournament competitions for young writers throughout Ohio. It also assists teachers by providing tools and an educational network to develop better student writing.
Wagner decided to start a Power of the Pen (PenOhio) team at Independence High School, as well. Her team competed last year, taking Second Place in the Junior Varsity division. Last year's winning writers included Colette Liepert, Dia Zizis, Avery Strychasz, Rachel de Haan, Anna Yost & Carolyn Klima. This year, Wagner added a Varsity level to the team. The teams have virtual and in-person meetings with Wagner and will compete in two or more writing competitions this year.

"We are trying to have high-school writing become more of a competitive sport. Concerning Independence, I am hoping to start a scholarship for future writers and have students earn Varsity letters in writing," said Wagner. Her hope statewide is to add more high-school writing teams.

Due to her successful competitions and hopes for the program, Wagner was chosen to be a member of the United Fellowship of the Pen Board of Trustees. Additionally, she earned the 2017 Ohio Middle Level Association (OMLA) Regional Award for best middle-level practice. The OMLA is a professional organization whose goal is to promote the middle-level concept. The criterion for the award are: the nominee is involved at the local, regional and state levels and they promote the middle school concepts through programs, leadership, or research. Anyone from the OMLA may nominate a candidate and the regional representative and regional associate representatives choose the winner for their area.

Executive Board Member of OMLA, Stephanie Paul, said in a letter to Wagner, "This is quite an accomplishment and you should take great pride in this wonderful accolade."

Wagner will be recognized at the Awards Reception at the 2017 Ohio Middle Level State Conference at the Hilton at Easton in Columbus on Thursday, Nov. 2.
Print This Article
font size
safe school help line
map directions
staff link
Education Administration Center  |  7733 Stone Road  |  Independence, OH 44131
P: (216) 642-5850  |  F: (216) 642-3482 | Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM