Getting Schooled Lifestyle

The Spark

March and April were special months for our guild and a few local students and teachers at Westside High, T L Hanna High, Tri-County Technical College, and Anderson University. In keeping with our guild’s mission to promote the art and craft of writing, we recognized faculty-selected students at these schools with our annual writing scholarships.

At Westside High, TL Hanna High, and Tri-County Tech, we also acknowledged the recipients’ sponsoring teachers – the ones who detected the sparks in these students and played key roles in nurturing their writing journeys.

Graduating senior Adam Jobson from Gainesville, Georgia, received our scholarship at Anderson University’s Honors ceremonies in April. He is a creative writing major and played violin in the AU orchestra. He plans to continue working on the novel he started in English 490.

 Sophomore Emma Brightman also received our scholarship at Anderson University’s Honors ceremonies in April.

Sophomore Logan Long at Tri-County Tech received a scholarship at our guild’s March meeting. His sponsoring teacher, Laurie Epps, said of his work “Logan’s short fiction was noticeably well-written. His characters were authentic and ones that readers could easily latch onto. The setting offered up accurate details relational to the 1960s time period. I was impressed and hoped the student writers in workshop recognized what I did in his quality writing.”

Graduating senior Isabella Tilstra of TL Hanna High received a scholarship at our guild’s April meeting. Her sponsoring teacher, Hannah Moore, said of her, “Isabella is graduating, and she is going to Anderson University for nursing. She is such a dedicated student, and writing is a passion for her. Any writing project that is sent her way she gives so much dedication to creating a perfect piece (especially fiction). She currently has roughly 90,000 words for a book that she is looking to publish in the future.”

Graduating senior Catania Cennami of Westside High also received a scholarship at our April meeting. Her sponsoring teacher, Bess Wurst, said of her, “Catania, like many students, had a rough time through Covid. She lost her spark for learning and her drive to challenge herself academically and was simply going through the motions. I met Catania her junior year in English IV College Prep and recognized that she could do more and had more in her. We discussed her taking my AP English Literature class her senior year, and the rest is history  She worked extremely hard this year and finished the class with an A. 

“One of Catania’s strengths as a writer is her creativity. She is also an artist. I am thinking of some of the creative activities we have done in class and how detailed hers always were. She was in our poetry slam, and it was awesome. Another strength is her ability to understand and interpret literature. She is able to connect it to other pieces of literature we have read or set it in a greater context. Most of these essays are timed, yet she is able to use descriptive and flowery language while also being direct and to the point. I think the opportunity to be asked to read and write like this is what sparked her desire for learning and to get back to loving to read and write. And really that is what we want for all our students. I’m proud to say that Catania plans to attend Lander University this fall to study elementary education.”

For these teachers, each day of class is an opportunity to connect with students, help them find that spark, and mentor them to their full potential. From an aging writer’s perspective, it appears Anderson’s next generation of writers is in the most capable hands.