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Coginchaug & Haddam-Killingworth High Students Take Top Honors

Shoreline Heads of English Departments 30th Annual Awards ceremony was Thursday night.


Students from and High Schools took top honors at the Shoreline Heads of English Departments (SHED) 30th Annual Awards ceremony for student writers last night.

The contest, which is open to high school students in the 13 schools which make up the CIAC Shoreline Conference, awards prizes for six categories of writing: Analysis (grades 9-10 and 11-12), Essay, Poetry, Drama, Humor, and Short Story. The winners were announced during a special ceremony at Morgan High School in Clinton last night.

Coginchaug High School student Emily Romanoff was the evening’s big winner, taking first prize for her personal essay, “I Wish I had Five Feet,” and placing third in the humor category for “Clothesbasket Battle,” a short essay on the perils of doing laundry. Romanoff is a student in English teacher Kris Nystom’s class.

Kristen Burtt, who is in Melissa Frey’s English class at Coginchaug, took home third prize for his analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird, “Does Justice Exist?” in the 9th and 10th grade analysis category. The top honor in that category went to Haddam-Killingworth High School student Kyle McCormick, who is in English teacher Alan Rice’s class, for his essay "Barn Burning."

Sage Barton, who is in H-K English teacher Dawn Hoffman’s class won third place for her one-act play “Starving,” and Ms. Allesandrine’s student at H-K, Tory Jo Bauer-Pisani, placed third in the poetry category for a poem entitled, “The Death of a Teddy Bear.”  

This spring’s event showcased the winning entries in a dramatic adaptation prepared by Old Saybrook High School. Poet Elizabeth Santovasi, a graduate of Boston University and a former SHED poetry winner, was the evening’s keynote speaker.

SHED sponsors two annual events—a writing conference in the fall and a writing contest in the spring. As Coginchaug English teacher Kris Nystrom explains it, “The organization receives support from the CIAC shoreline principals [but] instead of athletics we support English activities. I think we may be the only conference that supports students’ in academic pursuits.”

Congratulations to all the winners! Write on!

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