Botha students win big in provincial writing contest

Five current Botha School students and one alumni won big at the annual provincial Celebrating Words writing contest under Alberta English Language Arts Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Mastering the art of writing  - Proud winners of the provincial  writing contest with their teacher: (L-R) Damien Benjamin

Mastering the art of writing - Proud winners of the provincial writing contest with their teacher: (L-R) Damien Benjamin

Five current Botha School students and one alumni won big at the annual provincial Celebrating Words writing contest under Alberta English Language Arts Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Current students Megan Kobi, Damien Benjamin, Keyonna Derr, Kayna McLaughlin and Shayna Brower and Grade-6 alumni Mackenzie Hankin were named winners in late November with their compositions published in the annual Celebrating Words anthology.

Students were lauded for their passion for writing and teacher Katherine Melnyk for leading the school’s writing club.

“It’s a tribute to our students’ engagement with literacy,” said principal Peter Weeks.

“Mrs. Melnyk’s writing club, our whole school’s emphasis on real-world literacy for real-world audiences, the fact that we model writing for our students by publishing our own teacher professional writing and the fact that our parents are partners in working for literacy goals – all these things lead to success for our students.”

Botha students virtually swept the competition in Division I with Megan Kobi first in prose, Damien Benjamin second in spot, Keyonna Derr third and Dayna McLaughlin receiving honorable mention.

Shayna Brower received honourable mention in Division I poetry.

Stettler Middle School student Mackenzie Hankins won second in prose in Division II for a piece she penned while a Grade-5 student at Botha.

Botha School and William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler have each honoured winners in this annual contest, to but to have so many fine young writers recognized from one school is unprecedented.

Previous literacy work from Botha School was singled out for provincial recognition in excellence in 2008 and last summer was presented at the 16th annual International Learning Conference in Barcelona, Spain with a follow-up paper to be published in the International Journal of Learning.