Two Watershed students recognized for writing

The PenBay Pilot
Monday, April 1, 2019

CAMDEN — Watershed School juniors Pearl Benjamin and Rachel Sizeler-Fletcher have recently received recognition for their writing.

Pearl Benjamin was the winner of The Telling Room’s 2018-19 statewide writing contest. Her winning entry, titled Voice of Mother Trust, comes with a cash prize, the opportunity to be published in The Telling Room’s spring anthology, and an invitation to share the prize-winning piece with hundreds of people at The Telling Room’s year- end celebration.

Benjamin’s piece was one of nearly 200, according to Watershed, in a news release. The contest’s theme, “voices,” told the stories of those whose voices aren’t usually heard. Five judges, which includes professional writers and editors from The Telling Room, a nonprofit organization that empowers youth through writing, chose the winning entry.

Rachel Sizeler-Fletcher was accepted into the New England Young Writers Conference at Bread Loaf, to be held in May at Middlebury College. The selective conference, a four-day writing- focused workshop for high school students from across the country, brings students together to work on their writing, attend seminars, listen and share readings, and meet other young writers.

Bread Loaf, Middlebury College’s School of English, offers graduate education in literature and related fields. The full-time summer session provides opportunities for teachers and other professionals at all stages of their careers to deepen their intellectual awareness and engagement and to become powerful critical thinkers, writers, and educational leaders, according to the release.

“One of the many things I admire about both Rachel and Pearl is the professionalism with which they approach their writing,” said Watershed English teacher Anne Bardaglio, in the release. “They seek out opportunities to practice their craft beyond school, and they both understand the extent to which writing – and learning – must live outside the classroom in order to be real and meaningful. They are both exceptionally talented writers, but more than their talent, I admire their work ethic.”

“The writing program at Watershed School is built upon the idea that skilled writing and critical reading go hand- in-hand,” said Will Galloway, Head of School, in the release. “These skills are supported across the curriculum where students work closely with teachers who are available to provide extensive commentary and review during the revision process.”

Watershed School is an independent high school located in Camden, serving students who are looking for a challenging academic program in the context of a supportive and enthusiastic school culture.

A Watershed education is built on the principle that individual growth develops out of strong teacher-student relationships within the context of a close-knit community. Faculty concentrate on knowing each student in the school — in terms of learning style, interests, attitude toward learning, challenges, and aspirations — so they can help develop each student’s full potential.

The democratic nature of the community develops skills leading to effective citizenship and fosters a healthy affection and sense of responsibility for the school, thereby increasing student openness toward learning, toward each other, and toward adults.

The attitudes fostered at Watershed School prepare students for a lifetime of learning and for involvement in local communities and the larger world.