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No. Lehigh students are published authors

They may be young in years, but a handful of Northern Lehigh students are seasoned enough to call themselves published authors.

Northern Lehigh Middle School Principal David Hauser recognized four middle school and one high school student at last Monday’s school board meeting.

“I stand before the board tonight a very proud principal,” Hauser said. “I’m always a proud principal, but especially so tonight because we have several students I’d like to present to the board.”

Hauser said the purpose was to celebrate a “wonderful achievement,” He said the motto of the middle school is that Bulldogs INSPIRE, which stands for Innovate, Never Settle Pursue Individuality and Responsibility Every Day.

“It’s what we want for our students and we’re looking for students to exemplify that motto, and the five students I’m going to tell you about tonight did just that.”

Hauser then called students Rylee Penick (eighth grade); Mya DeSousa (eighth grade); Ada Porobenski (ninth grade); Yana Holva (eighth grade); and Malia Hyman (eighth grade) up to be recognized.

“What these students have in common is a wonderful accomplishment in that by the time they are finished with middle school, they are already published authors,” he said.

Hauser said he did receive over the summer a copy of “Twisted Tales” in which the students were challenged to write the creepiest stories they could with certain parameters.

Hauser added that five students were selected for publication along with middle schoolers from across the country.

“These are absolutely wonderful and a lot of fun,” he said.

Hauser said a copy of the book will be placed into circulation at the middle school library.

He then turned the program over to Shelby Bailey, an English Language Arts teacher who said that in October 2022, she received information from Young Writers USA, an organization that promotes young writers, which sent her information about a contest called Twisted Tales.

“I thought it was a really cool opportunity for some of our students to take part in,” Bailey said. “The only part that I had in it was advertising it to the entire middle school and providing students with the materials and the prompt to meet this contest’s requirements, and they pretty much did everything else on their own; they worked on it at home, they didn’t use school time to do it, they took it upon themselves, they were able to show their individuality.”

Bailey the prompt was pretty open-ended.

“The only requirement that they had to meet was that they were supposed to write a villain-origin story, and the challenge was to do that in exactly 100 words, so they were trying to use good word choice and of course in the limited space that they had get their point across,” she said. “Some of them came up with their very own villains, some of them took inspiration from villains that are in modern literature or movies and things like that.

“They really did a great job.”

Hauser and Superintendent Matthew J. Link then presented the students with a certificate of excellence.

“I am very proud of these students and their accomplishments; they reflect all the good things going on here at Northern Lehigh Middle School,” Hauser said. “And I’m very proud of Mrs. Bailey’s hard work and going the extra mile, and she is an excellent example of our very hard working faculty here at Northern Lehigh Middle School.”

Several Northern Lehigh Middle School and one Northern Lehigh High School student were recognized at the Sept. 11 school board meeting with certificates of excellence for being selected for publication. From left, Shelby Bailey, English Language Arts teacher; eighth graders, Rylee Penick, Yana Holva, Mya DeSousa, Malia Hyman and freshman Ada Porobenski, and middle school Principal David Hauser. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO