Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Parents and grandparents gathered at the Mercer County Technical Education Seminar Center recently to celebrate the writing talents of Mercer County students. The annual event climaxed a county-wide story-writing contest for students in grades 1-12.
Tom Chaffins, coordinator of Pupil Services, welcomed the audience to a “celebration of young people who have great talent.”
Board of Education Vice President Gilbert “Gene” Bailey gave the students advice about writing: Keep a journal, think and think again before you publish, check your facts, make sure people know if your writing is fiction, be prepared to defend your opinion, and remember that “words can heal, but can also hurt.”
Chaffins invited grade-level first-place winners to read their compositions from the podium. Second-grade student Victoria Meadows from Sun Valley Elementary fearlessly led the way, delighting the audience with her story about Tippy, the pony. Lashmeet/Matoaka third-grader Kaleb Meadows spun a tale about magical mittens that transported a boy and his dog to Mexico, Alaska, Canada, and home again.
Other first-place readers included Belle Burns, grade 4, Glenwood; Mackenzie Tabor, grade 5, Ceres; Megan Lester, grade 5, Montcalm Elementary; Brian Lowe, grade 6, Montcalm Elementary; Régan Cochran, grade 7, Princeton Middle; Noah Jennings, grade 8, Glenwood; Kendyl Burnette, grade 9, Princeton High; Lindsey Williams, grade 10, Princeton High; Rebekah Riggs, grade 11, MCTEC, and Marylea Wiley, grade 12.
From this group, Victoria Meadows, Belle Burns, Mackenzie Tabor, Régan Cochran, Lindsey Williams, and Marylea Wiley were selected as Division Winners. Their stories have already been submitted for state-level judging.
Second-place winners were Jaidyn Tiller, grade 1, Memorial; Cameron Henegar, grade 2, Bluewell; Kaileigh Hodges, grade 3, Glenwood; Sarah Lambert, grade 4, Straley; Tanleigh Smith, grade 5, Brushfork; Kyle Shrewsbury, grade 6, PMS; Nathan Pettus, grade 7, BMS; Morgan Jonson, grade 8, Glenwood; Lindsey Brown, grade 9, PSHS; Myah Sheets, grade 10, PSHS; Noelle Heerschap, grade 11, Bluefield High; and Teri Galligher, grade 12, PHS.
Third-place winners were Sophie Deal, grade 1, Memorial; Nico Galati, grade 2, Mercer; Kobie Lipscomb, grade 4, Melrose; Cami Woolridge, grade 5, Glenwood; Dylan Sanders, grade 6, PMS; Skylar Tabor, grade 7, Glenwood; Savannah Smith, grade 8, BMS; Shymonique Williams, grade 9, BHS; Caitlyn Lucado, grade 10, BHS; Michael Lawson, grade 11, BHS; McKenna Ellison, grade 12, PVHS.
In Mercer County, Young Writers’ Reception and Reading is an annual event. This year’s program was coordinated by Angela Groseclose, secondary supervisor, Stefanie Kopp-Adkins, elementary academic coach, and Dawn Staten and Rhonda Rogers, Title I supervisors.