Creative writing contest organizers receive recognition from School Committee

Post date: May 22, 2015 5:33:32 PM

On May 6th, the Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Committee recognized Maryanne Foley and Reg Bennett for their long-time commitment to the WOCSD’s Annual Literary Achievement Awards creative writing contest for Kindergarten through Adult Education students.

The program began in 1986. Foley, the District’s Community Resource Coordinator, took over coordinating the program in 1999. In 2002, Public Information Officer Bennett became Foley’s assistant as Co-Coordinator of the contest.

Each year approximately 250 students submit various forms of writing including poetry, non-fiction, and short stories. Entries are judged anonymously at two levels—by WOCSD staff and later by a panel of community members. The two-tier judging process produces first, second, third place and ‘honorable mention’ winners from each grade level.

"The program is a showcase of talented writers which demonstrates the progression of writing skills from grade to grade as the students mature,” sums up Foley about the contest.

When asked, Foley, also the Mistress of Ceremonies of the Literary Achievement Awards Ceremony held each spring, said that her most memorable moment running the contest came in 2012 when eight grader Brenda Griffin received a standing ovation from the audience for her moving essay about “bullying”.

Since its inception, the contest has had various sponsors including the former Ocean National Bank, which supported the contest for over 20 years. This year. sponsors included both the Wells and Ogunquit Rotary Clubs. President of the Ogunquit Rotary Club, Joe Boyle, and President of the Wells Rotary, Terry Hodskins, appeared at the podium during this year's awards ceremony on April 30th to make introductory comments. The Steakhouse in Wells was also a sponsor this year and in recent years by providing gift certificates to those receiving honorable mention.

Maryanne Foley, Reg Bennett, and WOCSD School Committee Chair Helena Ackerson.