Students Recognized at Pegasus Awards: Bergen County High School Writing Contest

June 10, 2017


From left to right: Haozhong Jin (’18), Sydney Salk (’18), Hannah Rosen (’18), Cleopatra Lim (’18), and Sakura Eguchi (’18). Winner Sara Howard not pictured.

On Thursday, June 6th, 2017, Bergen Community College recognized six Tenafly High School students for their outstanding writing. Sakura Eguchi (‘18), Sara Howard (‘17), Haozhong Jin (‘18), Cleopatra Lim (‘18), Hannah Rosen (‘18), and Sydney Salk (‘18) were honored for their written work in the 41st Annual Bergen County High School Writing Contest, sponsored by the college. The contest was open to high school juniors and seniors in Bergen County and accepted submissions from December 1st, 2016, to March 1st, 2017, in six categories: Scholarly Essay, Personal Essay, Essay by a Recent American, Short Story, Poetry, and Drama. This year’s theme was “The Changing Face of Suburbia.” The prizes are listed below:

Sakura Eguchi, Essay by a Recent American: “Escape from a Glass Box” – 3rd Prize

Sara Howard, Poetry: “Dear childhood Gerbils Lola and ‘I forgot your name’” – Honorable Mention

Sara Howard, Drama: “All Politics No Substance” – 2nd Prize

Haozhong Jin, Essay by a Recent American: “I am Generation 1.5” – 2nd Prize

Cleopatra Lim, Personal Essay: “Hand in Hand” – 1st Prize

Hannah Rosen, Scholarly Essay: “Bay State Botany: An Analysis of Foliage in Ethan Frome and The Scarlet Letter” – 1st Prize

Hannah Rosen, Personal Essay: “How to Light a Bunsen burner” – Honorable Mention

Sydney Salk, Scholarly Essay: “Magic as Connection: The Role of Mistress Hibbins in The Scarlet Letter” – Honorable Mention

The program ran from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM. Bergen Community College professors presented the awards to winning students, who received certificates and prizes in the form of Amazon gift cards. The winning works were also published in Pegasus, the competition magazine, and students received copies of their own to keep. Poetry winners were invited to participate in a reading that will be held at Oradell Public Library on June 19th, 2017.

“It’s really exciting!” said Hannah Rosen, ‘18. “I’m so honored to have received this award. I thank my teacher, Mr. Whitehead, for encouraging me to submit. I would have never done so otherwise.”

Sakura Eguchi, ‘18, says, “Honestly, I didn’t expect to receive an award. It was a pleasant surprise! There are so many talented writers in our school who I felt should’ve been recognized, too.”

“I had no idea that something I had written would be worthy of scholarly merit,” Sydney Salk, ’18, says. “So it was amazing to see that there was a contest that took the writing of high school students seriously.”

Discussing the title of her Essay by a Recent American, “I am Generation 1.5,” Haozhong Jin, ‘18, says, “I moved here when I was about 8 years old, so technically I don’t consider myself a second generation American. I also don’t consider myself a first generation American either. So my essay sort of delved into that.”

… it was amazing to see that there was a contest that took the writing of high school students seriously.

— Sydney Salk

The contest was led by Dr. Geoffrey Sadock and Dr. Peter Helff of the English Department, along with other faculty. Other winners’ schools included Northern Highlands Regional High School, Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC), Bergen County Academies, and Yeshiva High School. Entries were judged by Bergen Community College faculty according to the following criteria: effective persuasion, language clarity, and quality of reasoning for essays; originality, mastery of stylistic techniques, and quality of thematic development for creative genres.

Congratulations, tigers!

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