WALKERTON —  Eight John Glenn High School students won 29 regional Scholastic Writing Awards and two national writing awards.

The prestigious Scholastic National Art and Writing Award winners were announced from New York City on March 17, and John Glenn High School had one National Gold Medal Writing winner and one National Silver Medal for writing.

Senior Jahna Almaguer won a National Gold Medal for her poem “The Importance of Being with Ernest,” and senior Harrison Jessup won a National Silver Medal for his poem “Edgar Allen Poe and Mr. Rogers Are the Best of Friends.”

Only the top 1 percent  receive National recognition for their excellence in writing. 

Jahna was one of only 12 student writers in the state of Indiana to earn a National Gold Medal.

She also earned a National Gold Medal last year for her fiction.  Both students are eligible to receive their awards at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on June 6.

In the preliminary Regional Scholastic Writing competition for northern Indiana and Ohio, eight JGHS creative writers earned 17 Gold Key Awards, nine Silver Key Awards and three Honorable Mentions.

John Glenn’s 17 Regional Gold Keys marked the fourth highest total of any high school in the state for Gold Keys, trailing only a Division 1 school and two private schools.

The 29 total writing awards are the most writing awards JGHS has ever received. 

Jahna Almaguer earned two Gold Keys, two Silver Keys and a Gold Key for her Writing Portfolio; Harrison Jessup, two Gold Keys; Jordan Maure, one Gold Key and two Honorable Mentions; Tiffany Pierce, two Gold Keys and one Silver Key; Sarah Wolff, two Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and one Honorable Mention; Elizabeth Wilks, four Gold Keys and three Silver Keys; Jennifer Almaguer, one Silver Key; and Taylor Felgenhauer, three Gold Keys and one Silver Key.

The 17 Regional Gold Key winners were then judged at the national level.

Because of her three Gold Key awards and being an underclassman, sophomore Taylor Felgenhauer was awarded an Alliance Summer Arts Program (ASAP) award and scholarship to attend a two week writing workshop at Kenyon College in Ohio. 

Kenyon is recognized as one of the top writing colleges in the Midwest, and the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop Taylor will be attending is partnered with the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards’ Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.  Taylor’s selection for attendance at the workshop is based on her merit as a writer.

Paul Hernandez, the creative writing teacher at John Glenn High School, is extremely proud of his students’ accomplishments.

All of the winning writings and many others are included in the 2014 Aerial, JGHS’s award winning literary-art magazine, which went on sale in mid March.  

The magazine also features many of the scholastic artwork winners from John Thomas’ and Mrs. Stoner’s art classes.

The 160 page magazine featuring the writing and artwork of 95 different JGHS students can be purchased at the school for only $5. 

The National Council of Teachers of English recently notified the school that the 2013 Aerial  had earned recognition as “Superior Nominated for Highest Award.” 

Only two high schools in Indiana earned that high ranking: John Glenn and Park Tudor, a private school in Indy.

This makes the Aerial one of the top two literary magazines in the state.

The Scholastic Writing Awards are an important opportunity for students to be recognized for their creative talents. Each year, the National Arts Alliance partners with more than 100 regional affiliates across the country to bring the program to local communities.

Teens in grades 7 through 12 can apply in 30 categories of art and writing for the chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited or published. Gold Key award writings continue on to the national level.   

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