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Release Date: 4/17/2019
Contact: Brandon Oland, 443.809.5908

Three winners selected from more than 2,200 entries in Team BCPS Haiku Contest

Winning poets attend Honeygo Elementary, Cockeysville Middle, Catonsville High

TOWSON – The 2019 Team BCPS Haiku Contest challenge was simple: write a haiku on the theme of family.

The response from Baltimore County Public Schools students was extraordinary. A record 2,223 entries flowed in from 105 schools and centers. Students opened their hearts and imaginations to craft emotional, thoughtful, and sometimes funny poems. They reflected on the daily challenges of getting along with siblings and parents. They expressed the pain of separation through death and divorce. They described families created by choice – adoption, foster care, remarriage, friendship – as well as genetics. But, primarily, they described the sense of security and comfort that family brings. And they offered glimpses into the big and small family traditions – from movie-watching and cookie-baking to annual trips to the beach or beyond – that fill their lives with joy.

After a lengthy debate, a panel of judges selected just three winners. The contest winners are:

Elementary School Winner
Warmth in the kitchen
Brown sugar, secrets and love
Making Mom's cookies
Jayla Clovis, Grade 3
Honeygo Elementary School
English teacher: Ann Murk

Middle School Winner
They hope and they love,
one hundred arms embrace me,
fixing the broken.
Annie Cullinane, Grade 8
Cockeysville Middle School
English teacher: Elizabeth Fritshe

High School Winner
Broken Families
Mother fades away.
Father eats at her remains.
I am all alone.
Aaron Partin, Grade 9
Catonsville High School, Grade 9
English teacher: Marie Thrailkill

The three winners of the 2019 contest will each receive as prizes: four game tickets from the Baltimore Orioles, a gift card from Ukazoo Books, a gift certificate to a writing workshop from The Ivy Bookshop, and a writing journal and framed poster of their haiku from BCPS.

“The depth of our students’ creativity and talent never ceases to impress me,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “The winners wrote exceptional poems, but I also want to congratulate every student who entered and every teacher who encouraged his or her students to write. Writers improve through reading and through the practice of writing. We celebrate every one of our students from Kindergarten through Grade 12 who took the time to sit and write, to think about which words best expressed their ideas.”

The haiku were judged by several staff members from the Office of English Language Arts and the Department of Communications and Community Outreach, in addition to four award-winning student poets: Lilian Davison of Dulaney High School, Nadia Karber and Rebecca Scherr of George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and Kayla Yup of Towson High School.

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Team BCPS Newsletter
Baltimore County Public Schools
6901 Charles Street
Towson, Maryland 21204

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Verletta White
Interim Superintendent

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