Independence Local Schools Expands Power of the Pen to High School Level
Independence Local Schools has expanded its Power of the Pen middle school team to the high school level. This year, a Junior Varsity Independence High School team competed in the PenOhio Heartland Regional Tournament on January 21 at Kent State University at Stark in North Canton. For more than 25 years, Independence Middle School has been an active participant in the Power of the Pen contests. PenOhio is a competition that takes place at the high school level.
The IHS Junior Varsity team took second place after finishing in a near tie with Hudson, a school four times Independence High School’s size. The IHS writing team consists of Rachel de Hann, Carolyn Klima, Colette Liepert, Avery Strychasz, Anna Yost, and Diamanda Zizis. Mrs. Jill Wagner coaches the team. Individual finishers from IHS included: Anna Yost (second place); Rachel de Haan (fifth place); and Colette Liepert (seventh place).
At the January 21 competition, writers competed in three, 40-minute rounds of narrative writing in response to prompts not known in advance.
"PenOhio is a non-profit organization that helps high school students and their teachers advance excellence in expressive writing. The program specifically addresses College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing as directed by The Ohio Department of Education," said Thomas Merrill, founder of Power of the Pen.
“Writing competitively can be fun and a sport, too,” said Wagner. “Hopefully colleges will initiate more writing teams and offer scholarships for more co-curricular activities, such as Power of the Pen and PenOhio.”
Next year, Wagner hopes to have both an Independence Junior Varsity and Varsity High School team for PenOhio.