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Chatham County Schools hosts 26th annual Young Authors Celebration

Posted Friday, April 11, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC - Chatham County Schools Media Education Program along with McIntyre’s Fine Books and Fearrington Village hosted the twenty-sixth annual Young Authors Celebration for student writers in Chatham County on Tuesday, April 8. The event, which was held at The Barn at Fearrington Village, kicked off with a reception at 6:30 p.m.

Keith Medlin, Executive Director of Media and Technology, emceed the ceremony. He began the evening by honoring the School Library Media Educators for their dedication to the students and families of Chatham County Schools. This evening is a time to recognize and honor the incredible creative work of Chatham County Schools’ educators and students. Medlin recognized McIntyre’s Fine Books for judging the books, donating the use of the Fearrington Barn and the refreshments for attendees. Elm Creek Printing was also recognized for donating the binding of each of the winner’s books.

This year’s feature author was Sheila Turnage, a Newbury Award Winner, who currently lives in North Carolina. Turnage inspired and engaged students reinforcing that there’s a writer in each of them. Students were instantly hooked as she revealed her secrets for creating believable settings, characters, and stories. After her inspiring presentation, Turnage took pictures with each of the winners to commemorate the evening.

Directly after personnel recognition, Medlin, Board Chair Karen Howard, and school board member Del Turner began the awards presentation. Students from Bennett School were the first to be honored, with students from thirteen schools within the county in total being recognized as school winners competing at the county level.

Four students won awards that were in the “Best of” category. J. Allen Smith of North Chatham Elementary School, who wrote “Super Duper Yard Vacuum 5000,” won Best of: Grades K-4. Meera Butalia of Margaret B. Pollard Middle School, who wrote “Saving Simba,” won Best of: Grades 5-8. Eden Bennet of Bonlee School, who authored “What I Love,” won Best Novel. The student author who won Best Overall was J.S. Waters’ Krista Willett, who wrote “9/14/13.”

While walking around the room, attendees had the opportunity to look at books that were on display. Examples of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, along with handmade pop-up books were exhibited.


The event closed with proud parents, principals, and media coordinators socializing and capturing the special evening with cameras.

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Chatham County Schools hosts 26th annual Young Authors Celebration
Pictured: (left to right) Meera Butalia (Best 5-8, in 7th grade at Margaret B. Pollard Middle School), Karen Howard (Chair of the Chatham County Board of Education), J. Allen Smith (Best K-4, in 3rd grade at North Chatham), Eden Bennet (Best Novel, in 8th grade at Bonlee School), Krista Willett (Best Overall, in 7th grade at J.S. Waters)
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