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Brand New JV PenOhio Team Wins Regional Tournament

Remarkably for a first year team, the Bison won first place in the JV division, and all competitors qualified for the state tournament, to be held May 19 at the College of Wooster.

Photo+courtesy+of+Casey+Matthews
Photo courtesy of Casey Matthews

Photo courtesy of Casey Matthews

Photo courtesy of Casey Matthews

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For the first time ever, BHS sent a JV writing team to compete at the PenOhio regional competition held at Kent State University-Stark on March 10.

“This is the first year this has ever been at the high school,” said English teacher Casey Matthews, who advises the club. “It is also a fairly small club…Only 6-10 people show up for practice.”

Remarkably for a first year team, the Bison won first place in the JV division, and all competitors qualified for the state tournament, to be held May 19 at the College of Wooster.

Competitors  at regionals included freshmen Emily Isaacson, Arielle Keselman, Julia Marks, Sanjana Murthy, Yoav Pinhasi and Peter Soprunov.

“It was a relief that everyone got in,” Supronov said. “That was very satisfying.”

Two of the team members placed individually: Sanjana Murthy placed 5th and Arielle Keselman placed 4th; overall, the team won 1st place in the JV division.

Two of the team members placed individually: Sanjana Murthy placed 5th and Arielle Keselman placed 4th; overall, the team won 1st place in the JV division. ”

Soprunov explained that the competition consists of three rounds. Six to seven writers compete in each room with a single judge, who reads and ranks their work at the end of the round, and gives each piece a score between 100-700.

Writers are given prompts in each round. Soprunov gave examples that he encountered in his rounds:

  • “I didn’t expect that to happen. What was it?”
  • “What did you do, eat it?”
  • “Thrift store find”

PenOhio is the high school model of Power of the Pen, which has been quite successful at BMS for the last few years, under the direction of English teacher Michelle Toomey and special education assistant John Woodbridge.

Matthews explained that she agreed to advise the club at the high school after being approached by a student.

“Emily Isaacson emailed me to be a sponsor on a writing competition, so I said yes,” she said.

Matthews emphasizes that the club is not just about competition. They have been meeting since October to write and share their writing.

“I teach most of the people in the club, and I see it as an opportunity to see them in a non academic capacity,” she said.

“We are a zany, brainy, quirky group of kids that writes good,” Soprunov added.

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Brand New JV PenOhio Team Wins Regional Tournament