Birchwood School of Hawken’s 2023 Power of the Pen (POP) team wrote its way to rewards at the recent State of Ohio tournament, returning with a second-place overall finish as well as a handful more accolades earned by its seventh- and eighth-grade scribes.
Other Birchwood student winners are:
• Individual Award Joshua Gordon, 8th grade 11th Place
• State Platinum Pen Awards
Reeve Vincent, 7th grade, for “War and Blood”
Joshua Gordon, 8th grade, for “Why?” and “So Much More”
* Both are eligible for publication in Power of the Pen’s annual Book of Winners, determined from regional Best of Round.
Birchwood’s student team is coached by language arts specialists Lorraine Tzeng, Jennifer Seward, and Allison Noga.
Joshua Gordon, an eighth grade student at Birchwood School of Hawken received First Class distinction for his writing "Only a Game" and was recognized as a 2023 Promising Young Writer by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
This year, schools nominated 146 students to participate in the Promising Young Writers Program. Of those, 56 were selected to receive the First Class designation, 58 received the Superior designation, 27 received the Excellent designation, and 5 received the Merit designation. Students had to submit original works based on the prompt: Revision as Life: Ourselves, Worlds, and Perceptions Two to three independent judges evaluated each submission holistically on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.
On Saturday, April 22, 2023, twenty-two Birchwood students traveled to Ohio Wesleyan University for the state level of the National History Day competition. With over 400 students from 40 different schools, the competition was challenging but the results were outstanding, with 15 Birchwood of Hawken students qualifying for the national level of the competition which will be held the week of June 11, 2023 at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. With national qualifiers in almost every category, the students’ hard work to improve their projects following the regional competition resulted in strong finishes. The first and second place finishers in each category advance to the national competition.
In the Historical Paper category, 8th grader Haadeya placed 2nd. She also received the National Maritime Historical Award for her paper focused on the Erie Canal. In the Individual Documentary category, Birchwood students captured both national qualifying spots. Placing first was 8th grader Joshua G. with his project on the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and how it tamed the lawless frontier of food and drug production. Seventh grader Joshua T. placed second. His topic was Dr. John Snow, who started the field of epidemiology with his investigation of a cholera outbreak in London, England in the mid-1800s. In the Group Documentary category, 7th graders Arav and Suryan placed second with their project on Enrico Fermi, who created the first nuclear reactor. Receiving an honorable mention were 6th graders Andrew and Brian for their documentary on America’s use of deception to fool the German military in WWII.
Birchwood School of Hawken is a member of the Ohio Association of Independent Schools (OAIS), the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools (CCIS), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). Birchwood School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States.