The pens of St. Pat’s
By Jeff Gates
For The Madison Press
Never underestimate the power of the pen.
That’s what a plethora of middle school students across Ohio are learning the next several months as Power of the Pen competitions heat up around the state.
Recently, the St. Patrick School team participated in the first elimination round, held at Clark State Community College. A total of 15 schools were a part of the district tournament.
Representing the Irish, the seventh grade team members were Addison Conley, Emma Hatem, Caleb Huffman, Troy McFarland, Natalie Ratliff and Ian Rickard. The eighth grade members were Maria Menke, Haley Meyer, McLaren Rogerson, Samantha Vrancken, Shannon Weiner, and Alyson Wiseman.
According to St. Patrick team coach Debbie Adamczak, there are three timed rounds of writing and the students are provided with a ‘prompt’ for each round. For the seventh grade, the prompts included … Write a narrative in which the main character in the story is a dog in trouble (and they were to write a first person narrative), describe something that won’t go away, and it is time to ‘Even the Score’ — use this statement as the central theme of the story.
St. Pat’s McFarland was the big winner, earning second place among all of the seventh grade students. He won Best of Round for the first round, Best of Round in the third round and he also received Honorable Mention for the second round.
The eighth-grade students had prompts including … describe some leftovers, under (blank) — fill in the blank, and describe something that isn’t fair.
Rogerson won fifth place in the eighth grade, while Menke placed 10th. Due to their place in the final standings, McFarland, Rogerson and Menke automatically earned spots in the Regional Tournament, to be held March 2 at Wittenburg University. Also earning spots by virtue of their scores were St. Pat’s Hatem, Huffman, and Ratliff.
“Each week, a new prompt was given for the students to address in a forty minute time frame — this was in addition to their daily language arts homework,” said Adamczak, who has coached the team for four years. “I appreciate the time and effort the team members put in practicing before the competition.”