Renowned Poet Addresses Talented Young Writers

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SCOTCH PLAINS – This spring, Union Catholic High School hosted the awards ceremony of the annual writing contest sponsored by the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English (NJCTE). Thirteen students from high schools throughout the state were recognized for their entries in three categories—poetry, personal essay, and short story.

In addition, certificates of merit were distributed to the top writers from each submission school. In this category, Union Catholic senior William Rivera of Scotch Plains was honored for his written work entitled “Ode to My Cereal.”

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The featured speaker, Joe Weil, a renowned poet known for his humor, story-telling and eloquence who was born in Elizabeth, applauded the success of these young talented writers and urged them to keep writing for the love of art. Julius Gottilla, Union Catholic English teacher and NJCTE Executive Board member, served as master of ceremonies. Union Catholic students Joe Passantino, Tim Leach, Sean Sarra, Danielle Gruskiewicz and Annie Cerpial, all members of the Union Catholic forensics team, read excerpts from the winning entries.

Renowned poet Joe Weil during his presentation at the 2011 NJ Council of Teachers Writing Awards Ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Union Catholic High School)


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