Patrick Herrin and Eric Lu, juniors at Essex High School, were chosen earlier this spring as Vermont’s winners in a national academic writing contest run by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Herrin is a standout athlete on the EHS soccer, track, and Nordic ski teams, and a member of the EHS Scholar’s Bowl and Math League teams, as well as the school’s Athletic Leadership Council.
Lu is a superior math student who placed fourth in a statewide test earlier this spring. He is a member of the EHS chamber choir and has performed or played piano on the musical stage at the school.
This year’s winners are the fourth and fifth EHS juniors to claim the award in the past three years. Herrin and Lu were among 137 11th graders nationwide in a contest that this year drew more than 350 entries. Winners are based on a state’s population and Vermont is allotted two slots.
Each student submitted two pieces of writing, which were read by national judges. Papers were judged on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style. The 100-year-old NCTE reports 35,000 members among English and language arts teachers in the United States, the largest such organization of its kind.