Two New York Times best-selling authors recently spoke to nearly 100 Bryan Middle eighth-graders. It was a chance for the middle schoolers to speak with professionals and find out how they can transform the language arts skills they learn in the classroom into a career.
Sophie Jordan, author of “Reign of Shadows,” and Victoria Aveyard, author of “The Red Queen” series, spent over an hour telling about how they became published authors. Students asked questions about the writing process, how to develop intriguing characters, and how to get a story published.
“We have so many talented young writers here at Bryan,” said Margie Wayman, learning commons specialist. “It is just awesome to have the students hear published authors tell stories of how you have to keep writing and rewriting, and just believe in yourself. It is also fun to see the kids so excited to read these books!”
Duchesne students recognized for academic success
Among the St. Louis archdiocesan high schools, Duchesne High was the only one this year to have students recognized by the National Merit Scholars program – with not just one, but three students.
Seniors Will Fairless and Joe Phillips each were awarded $2,500 National Merit Scholarships to the schools of their choosing. Erin Hannegan McKee, also a senior, was named a commended student by the National Merit Scholars program in recognition of her Preliminary SAT scores and her continuing academic promise.
Fairless and Phillips are among the .033 percent of students awarded the prize. Fairless will be applying his scholarship toward tuition at Auburn University; Phillips will be using his scholarship at either Loyola University of Chicago or the University of Oklahoma.
Brittany Krafft, another Duchesne senior, recently placed in the top 10 at the St. Louis Area Brain Bee held at Washington University. The Brain Bee is an annual competition for high school students to test their knowledge of neuroscience.
Duchesne students also won the small school division at the Regional Tournament of the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Academic Challenge.
In addition to the Duchesne team placing first overall, individual Duchesne students received the following medals: Andrew Sweeso, first place, English; Nick Thiele and Jake Hearst, first and third place, physics, respectively; Brittany Krafft, second place, biology; and Ethan Wetter and Nick Thiele, third and fourth place, math, respectively. Teams and individual students placing first and second will go on to compete at the sectional level for a chance to advance to the Missouri state finals at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla in April. The Duchesne team will be competing in sectionals.
“Our kids did an awesome job!” said Glennis Ziegler, M.A., biology and physics teacher. “Our students are so bright and they work so hard. We are hoping to make a return trip to the state competition this year.”
Zumwalt students excel in ‘picturing the music’
Seventeen Fort Zumwalt students, who were recognized at Powell Hall as members of the Top 100 in this year’s Picture the Music Contest, will have work on display in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s traveling show, starting at Powell Hall and stopping later this year at Plaza Frontenac and the St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre.
Recognized are Kerrigan Miller of Dardenne Elementary, who won the Maestro Award, the highest honor in the competition. Also from Dardenne Elementary are Rylee Cummins, who won the Symphony Award for best first-grade interpretation of the music; Zach Urban and Autumn Strain, who were in the Top 25 of students selected; and Kaeden Molloy.
Other participants included: Riley Flynn, Lana Heinrich, Emily Gailey, Reese Allquist and Sophia Dawson from Emge Elementary; Nathan Shryock from Hawthorn Elementary; Zoe Saunders and Mariam Farhat from Lewis & Clark Elementary; Romil Shah and Brady Willmar from Ostmann Elementary, and Dylan Summerfield and Isabella Pandolfo from Progress South Elementary.
Sts. Joachim and Ann student Cole Polley has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2016 Missouri National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held at the University of Missouri in April.
Each state champion will receive $100, a copy of “The National Parks: An Illustrated History,” a medal and the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to represent his or her state in the National Geographic Bee Championship at the society’s headquarters in May. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. The national champion also will travel [along with one parent or guardian] on an all-expenses-paid trip to Alaska’s coastal wilderness, including Glacier Bay National Park.
The 2016 National Geographic Bee Championship final round will air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD on Friday, May 27 at 7 p.m.