Scholastic Writing Awards

By Dr. Oakes
The Scholastic Writing Awards are one of the most prestigious prizes given to high-school writers in the United States. Hebron students have always done well in this competition, and this year was no exception. Seven Hebron students were recognized for their poetry, personal memoirs, and academic papers.
What is particularly remarkable about this year’s Hebron winners is that they faced stiffer competition than ever before. While in previous years Hebron students had competed against writers from all across Maine, changes to the contest this year meant that Hebron writers were competing in an “at-large” region that covered all of New England plus parts of New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Consider this: Last year we had a spectacular total of 8 winners chosen from entries from the state of Maine; this year our 7 winners came from a pool ten times the size!
Congratulations to our latest winners, and happy writing to all!
This year’s Scholastic Writing Awards:
  • Samantha Gumprecht ’20, Personal Memoir
  • Iman Shepard ’19, Critical Essay
  • Emma Skelton ’19, Personal Memoir
  • Alaina Bonis ’21, Personal Memoir
  • Sophie Chu-O’Neil ’20, Personal Memoir
  • Alice Dang ’20, Poetry
  • Ellena Frumiento ’20, Personal Memoir

Jaw Dropping Excitement

By Joe Godomsky ’20

Incredible experiences come with hard work. Over the summer my Babe Ruth league all-star team won states. We knew we had a talented team, but winning states is a feat that we have failed to achieve for the last six years, making this extremely special. We went into the state tournament as a strong contender for the state title. Since Augusta was hosting the regional tournament, their team automatically made it past states. Two teams get to go to the regional tournament, this made our chances of making regionals very good. We won our first game against Lisbon and played our rival Augusta next. They were by far the best team in the tournament besides us, making this game very competitive. Through a hard fought battle, we ended up on the losing side. This did not kick us out of the tournament due to the tournament being double elimination. Afterward, we proceeded to win two other times to reach the championship game. We had to beat Augusta twice considering we were in the losing bracket, making our feat of winning states very unlikely. After an extremely exciting game, we proceeded to secure our first win; this caused Augusta to become very frustrated and our team to become extremely excited. We had the momentum for the second game, and we had our ace on the mound.

The result of winning states after being down two games was extremely exciting but it was not nearly as exciting as the email we received from the commissioner of the league a couple weeks after states. He informed us that every single year the state winners from all age groups get to go to Fenway Park and walk on the field in front of thousands of people. My jaw dropped! I’ve gone to Fenway Park many times but never have I ever thought that I would be walking on the field. I was ecstatic and could not wait until the day we left for Boston.

I took the train into the Red Sox stadium and was greeted by all my friends. We got together and walked over to the gate where we would prepare to walk onto the field. All the state winners clustered together prior to the gate opening in joyous fashion. They began calling people up towards the gate, closer and closer to Fenway Park. I reached the gate and I could see the field where almost every MLB player from 1912 and beyond has stepped foot. Not only do I see it but when they call my team out to walk onto the field, it was one of the most special moments I have ever experienced. We continued to walk down right next to the Green Monster and then we stopped. I stood there and took one very slow turn. I looked at the field, and I looked at the crowd; I could not believe that I was standing on the field at Fenway Park. I couldn’t take in the importance of this until I saw myself on the Jumbotron. I was filled with so much happiness that I couldn’t take it in all at once. Right before we walked off the field, I bent down and grabbed a handful of dirt from right in front of the Green Monster. I needed something to truly remember this experience.    

We stood there for approximately ten minutes before being asked to walk back off the field. While walking off, I looked slightly to my right. Out of the corner of my eye Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets ace was standing right there doing his warmups. The 6 foot 6 inch, 240-pound man that they call “Thor” was standing right next to me. He is by far one of the hardest pitchers to face in the MLB and he was standing right next to me. I could not have had a more special experience.

Our Own Mini-Hebron

By Emma Skelton (’19) and Dr. Hillory Oakes

In this summer’s All-School Read, All the Light We Cannot See, the character Marie-Laure’s father creates models of the cities where they live to help his visually impaired daughter navigate through her world. Marie-Laure is then able to walk freely throughout the cities despite being blind because she knows everything about them from the models. Inspired by this, during this week’s Community Meeting, groups of about ten to fifteen Upper School students created a three-dimensional map of the Hebron campus. Groups had only 45 minutes and a bagful of assorted supplies to design a miniature version of a specific spot on campus, from the athletic fields to the dorms to the chapel. Each piece was then brought to the Science Lecture Hall where they were all assembled into a replica of the entire school. Students exhibited amazing teamwork and creativity with these models; we hope to display all of them at this spring’s Academic Expo. Please see the pictures below for a glimpse into our creative, little world…

Lepage Center for the Arts, with styrofoam columns and a dancing minion in the background:

The Chapel, which even has a senior giving their last word on the inside:

The iconic Victory Bell:

The Hockey Rink, complete with players, sound effects, and a giant cup of hot chocolate:

The Creation of “Word Wednesday”

Written by Alice Dang ’20

“Word Wednesday” has officially become the new representation of Hebron’s enthusiasm for creative writing, more specifically, poetry. Being the initiator of this new program has brought me incredible joy as well as great responsibility. It all started with my love for poetry itself and the desire to bring it along wherever I go. Seeing Hebron had a specific “tradition” everyday like  Music Monday or Lumbergames, I noticed that a slot for Wednesdays was empty and an idea instantly came to my head! Spoken poetry performed well could really impact some conventional perspectives on poetry. I personally believe that poetry should not only be read, but also be heard; so it was a great opportunity for other poets to share their words out loud. After getting approval from the teachers and encouragement from friends, I was even more determined to bring this idea to life.

Clearly, there was hesitation and fear that the program would not work out or no one would be interested in joining. However, after introducing “Word Wednesday” and sharing a poem of mine, a lot of people were curious about this new “tradition”. Soon, one after another, more students and teachers started signing up for a spot; within a short period of time, we had the list filled up until the end of winter term! It was then that I’d realized the power of words, how they could bring people together within minutes and gather such an amazing community. The first few weeks of the program went surprisingly well, with readers performing their own work or a favorite of theirs. Aarti Singh was not familiar with the world of poetry, but knowing about “Word Wednesday”, she had volunteered to share her first poem. Christian Quinones also read a heartwarming poem for his sister, Eliza Quinones, on her birthday. I cannot be more thankful for all the people who have signed up to be the “poet of the week”! Poetry can sound intimidating or even tedious at first, but there are various categories and expressions that you never thought you would enjoy until you read (or hear) a really good poem. I would like to quote a saying I found on Tumblr that conveys my feelings for poetry. “I fell in love with you the way paperbacks fall down on shelves; slowly, and then all at once”. I do not expect every single member in Hebron to love poetry instantly, but it is my wish to gradually change people’s view on poetry and help them acknowledge how beautiful yet powerful words can be.

Due to the different schedules in each term, a new name will replace “Word Wednesday”. Stay tuned!

Update: It is now called “Pocket Poetry”!