>Greenville holds Power of the Pen Competition

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Hundreds of 7th and 8th grade students leave Memorial Hall Saturday,
some with awards, some without, following a long day of writing for the
Annual Regional Power of the Pen Competition. Winners will be
headed to Mercer County for the District Competition in February.

Greenville Junior High School held its first Power of the Pen Regional Competition Saturday, with Greenville JHS Eighth Grader Christal Smith and Mississinawa Valley JHS Seventh Grader Chance Garber taking Best of Round honors.

Smith earned Best of Round for the first of three Eighth Grade prompts… “Taking it was easy. Putting it back undetected is a real challenge. Do it in your story.” Titled “Never Again,” her narrative was on the humorous missteps of an 8-year-old who swiped a cigarette, then thought better of it and tried to return it. It was an account of one problem after another with frustrated but humorous comments by the youngster. Smith’s coach was GHS Sophomore Ruby Horner.

Garber earned Best of Round for the second Seventh Grade prompt… “Write about the last time you actually cried, or wanted to.” Titled “The Bloody Stream,” his narrative was about a brave and loyal pig. The judge’s comments included “well-developed with excellently drawn characters, both human and non-human.” Garber’s coach was Tricia Seubert.

This year was the first time the competition was hosted by Greenville Junior High School. Presentations were made by Mississinawa Valley retired teacher and competition organizer Elaine Bailey and GSD Superintendent Susie Riegle. Best of Round awards were presented by judges Katheleen Nealeigh, National Board Certified Teacher and 2001 Darke County Teacher of the Year; Michael Sexton, Arcanum-Butler Eighth Grade English and Language Arts Teacher; and Bob Robinson, Author, Columnist and retired Editor of The Daily Advocate.

Awards were presented in historic Memorial Hall, which will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary next year. Regional Competition winners will compete in the Division Competition in Mercer County next month.
Darke County Eighth Graders earning total points honors were: No. 3 – Christal Smith, Greenville JHS; No. 11 – Caroline Prakel, Versailles Middle School; No. 12 – Kelly Snyder, DeColores Montessori School; and No. 13 – Morgan Turpen, Versailles Middle School. Franklin Monroe Seventh Grader Sophie Fig earned 16th place in total points.

Fourteen schools, including several hundred students, participated in the competition. Top Eighth Grade points went to Sydney Holdren, New Bremen Middle School (Auglaize); Kayla Thien, Minster Middle School (Auglaize); and GJHS’ Smith (Darke). Top Seventh Grade points went to Emily Doll, Tippecanoe Middle School (Miami); Erika Angstman, Saint Mary’s Middle School (Auglaize); and Jesse Hellelgarn, Tippecanoe Middle School (Miami). Top Eighth Grade schools were: Fort Loramie HS (Shelby), Sidney Middle School (Shelby) and Minster Middle School (Auglaize). Top Seventh Grade schools were: Tippecanoe Middle School (Miami), Fort Loramie HS (Shelby) and Piqua Catholic (Miami). Other Best of Round winners, Eighth Grade, were: Adeliene Whitten, New Bremen Middle (Auglaize); and Jack Martin, Sidney Middle School (Shelby). Seventh Grade: Jesse Hemmelgarn, Tippecanoe Middle School (Miami); and Maria Barhorst, Fort Loramie HS (Shelby).

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