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Cool Things Happening at the School

Friday 02 June 2017 at 10:33 pm.

The school year at Cape Hatteras Secondary School (CHSS) may be winding down, with graduation and summer vacation just around the corner, but it’s ending with quite a bit of exciting news.

Let’s start with the story of Elizabeth Muller, who in recent days, has been better known as “Speller 185” at the national Scripps Spelling Bee.

In case you haven’t heard of it, (or it’s been years and years since you’ve actually thought about spelling bees), the Scripps event is the Superbowl of Spelling Bees, and roughly 11 million young wordsmiths from all around the world compete for a chance to get into the big game. It’s held in Washington, DC, and the finals are televised in the states on ESPN.

Elizabeth, who is a 13-year-old 7th grader from CHSS, was one of 291 spellers to make the cut.

She made it through the first three rounds, spelling both the word “syncopation,” and the word “immure,” correctly. The first round requires students to spell a list of words independently.  (And I’m not embarrassed to admit that I had to Google what on earth “syncopation” was.) Unfortunately, she did not have the number of points necessary to move into the final round, but the fact that she did so well - and was part of an elite group of students who participate in the national competition to begin with - is certainly worthy of c-e-l-e-b-r-a-s-h-u-n…. oh wait… I mean c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-i-o-n.

The other big news that all of us at Island Free Press are especially thrilled about is the informal announcement of an upcoming journalism class that’s coming to CHSS in the fall of 2017.

Currently, CHSS does offer journalism and writing-based curriculum, in the vein of a publications class and a creative writing class, but this new offering will take it a step further.

“[This journalism class] will be focused more on real world applications, and will be relevant to children who want to pursue a career in journalism, English, writing, photojournalism, and things of that nature,” says CHSS Principal Beth Haneman-Rooks. “A lot of kids have already expressed interest in it, so we think it will be a really great addition.”

There is also going to be a new school newspaper in the future, as well as a resurrected publication that may ring a bell for students who attended CHSS years ago.

“We do a yearbook every year, but what we’re working on is to go beyond the yearbook, and revitalize the Sea Chest,” says Principal Haneman-Rooks.

“The Sea Chest was a literary magazine that was published at the school, and which was very popular back in the day,” she adds. “The last one that we published was about 12 years ago, but we’re hoping to get that back up and running – it will have artwork as well as journal entries, poetry, interviews with local folks - all kinds of things.”

The new journalism program will be open to middle school and high school students, and here at Island Free Press, we are most excited about the fact that we’ll get to be involved.

Yes, we are very much looking forward to working with the upcoming journalism students in the months and hopefully years to come to share their stories, and we’re planning to run a regular features column dedicated to showcasing these local talents. We’re also looking forward to any opportunity to work with the students and to answer questions, and share our expertise - (limited as it may be) - in whatever capacity we can. (I’m also not embarrassed to admit that we were dying for this opportunity, and were pretty much willing to beg to be involved, so we are beyond excited about this upcoming project.)

So once the weather cools, and school starts up again, be on the lookout for some up-and-coming writers being featured in the Island Free Press. Our community has some pretty brilliant kids, especially when it comes to writing, so this is going to be a genuine treat for us, as well as our readers.

Finally, in that vein, we’re also proud to announce the creation of the Irene Nolan/Island Free Press scholarship. This scholarship is in honor of our dear friend and editor Irene Nolan, and was the brainchild of Donna Barnett, our co-founder, publisher, and Irene’s dear friend.

The scholarship will be given to local Ocracoke and Hatteras Island high school students who want to pursue a career in journalism, and we believe this scholarship is a tribute that Irene would enthusiastically approve of.

Journalism is essential, and Irene was always the most vocal proponent of locally produced community news. This is why we are so delighted that there’s a new generation of writers coming down the pike, who can bring new perspectives and new stories to our readers.

Young writers and future journalists, we can’t wait to work with you.

One comment

John Griffin

Irene Nolan/IFP scholarship for Journalism! Beautiful Tribute!

John Griffin - 03-06-’17 05:36




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