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AHS seniors win NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing
ARLINGTON Two Arlington High School seniors were among the 606 high school seniors across the country, and beyond, to be deemed outstanding writers by the National Council of Teachers of English 2006 Achievement Awards in Writing, with of a pool of 2,080 students nominated from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, the Virgin Islands and American schools abroad.
AHS Associated Student Body Officer Tyler Varnell, 17, and AHS Student School Board Representative
MacKenzie Tanguay, 16, each submitted a process essay, rewritten from one of their non-research papers written during their freshman, sophomore or junior years, as well as a timed two-hour persuasive essay on their choice of preselected topics.
Both students described themselves as surprised at having won their awards, not only because they had doubt their writing would fare so well among such competition, but also because the most recent of their submissions took place late last school year.
Varnells process essay analyzed Arthur Millers The Crucible and cited examples of how greed and self-promotion corrupted and ruined the characters lives, while Tanguays process essay explored the frequently sharp contrasts between appearance and reality in Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter. Tanguay admitted that her process essay was not her first choice and expected that it would hold her back.
Likewise, while Tanguay barely recalled the subject of her timed essay, Varnell remembered choosing the format of a letter to a school principal, addressing proposed changes in the schools schedule, physical education program and nutrition of its lunches.
Varnell considers his award an honor that had inspired him to take more pride in my writing. While he remains uncertain about his future career, he does plan to attend a four-year college and is interested in studying music and the Bible.
Tanguays choices for schools after graduation include the Western Washington, Gonzaga, Pepperdine and New York universities, and while she has considered journalism as a possible career, shes begun to look more closely at magazine design and layout. She was equally flattered by her award and thanked her amazing English teachers.
NCTE spokesperson Millie Davis echoed Tanguays high opinion of the English teachers at AHS, asserting that the superior achievement of each winner is a reflection of the teachers and the English program at your school.