by Matt Foster, Community Journalist
CRAFTSBURY – Matthew Califano from Craftsbury Academy, has been selected for a 2023 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
For his essay, Califano was the recipient of the highest possible level (First Class) of NCTE’s 2023 Achievement Awards in Writing. He is the only student from Vermont ever to receive the First Class distinction.
Califano commented, “This year the NCTE asked students to write about the importance of education. My essay, ‘Most of All Beware this Boy: Our Battle to Eradicate Ignorance and Save Civilization,’ argues that we, as a society, must come together to advocate for and fund educational systems that value open-mindedness, diversity, and deference to science. If we can succeed in these efforts, we can finally eradicate ignorance and prejudice and ensure that our nation continues to thrive. I am proud that my work earned the First Class distinction from the NCTE and was able to bring national recognition to Craftsbury Academy and the State of Vermont.”
The NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students to write and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation. Only students who are juniors may participate. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, US territories, Canada, and American schools abroad are eligible to nominate students for the writing program.
This year, schools nominated 360 students. Of that number, 114 were selected to receive the First Class designation, 131 received the Superior designation, 71 received the Excellent designation, and 31 received the Merit designation. Each student submitted two pieces of writing. Two to three independent judges scored each submission on expression of ideas, language use, and unique perspective and voice.
[Matt Foster is the principal at Craftsbury Academy.]