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The Madison Record

“The Eclectic” at Bob Jones earns acclaim by viewing the mind

Thoughtful planning and writing skills earned acclaim for “The Eclectic,” the literary anthology at Bob Jones High School.

The National Council of Teachers of English ranked “The Eclectic” as superior and nominated it for the ‘highest award’ or Top 20, sponsor Brandy Panagos said.

Nick Mecikalski, Kristen Hop, Kali Daniel, Alyx Chandler, Alexis Christakes and Summer Dawkins led the production. “These students were the visionaries and editors behind this particular issue,” Panagos said.

Judges considered literary content and magazine layout for the 417 competing schools.

More than 100 students in writers’ studio, multimedia publications, art and English classes, along with English Honor Society, submitted prose, poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, comics, art and photography. “These students compete for spots in the magazine,” she said.

In writers’ studio, Panagos’ students adapt their writing to various formats and compile a digital portfolio. Building on this portfolio, multimedia publications students lay out print versions with Indesign software. Panagos also teaches multimedia design that produces the “Patriot Pages.”

In this issue, “The Eclectic” explored the mystery of the human mind, requiring research in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology. “They even studied the art movement of surrealism … to influence their fiction and poetry,” Panagos said. “I was particularly impressed with those students who used their writing to raise awareness about mental illness.”

“Even though we are often writing creatively, I always try to make connections to how this might be useful in the professional world,” Panagos said. “Maybe they will be writing content for websites, producing press releases, writing business proposals or adapting their language to meet the needs of their coworkers or customers. I want my students to be effective communicators in their professional lives.”

In 2008, “The Eclectic” was almost disbanded due to lackluster entries and waning interest. In 2009, students rallied and set new standards. “Each subsequent staff has exceeded those standards. It looks and reads like a collegiate or professional publication,” Panagos said.

To read “The Eclectic,” visit bjhstheeclectic.com.

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