Nineteen students from Nashoba Valley Technical High School scored among the top 10 percent of the more than 3,200 students who entered the Massachusetts Letters About Literature Competition, with one student finishing in the top 5 percent.
Run by the Library of Congress, the Letters About Literature Competition asks students to write a letter to an author who has inspired them and tell them how their work impacted their lives.
Melynda Barlow, a sophomore from Chelmsford, advanced to the final round for her letter to John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars.”
“(Her) profound and heartfelt letter (to Green) showed how she had been able to find light
even in the darkest places when coming to terms with a loved one who had cancer,” said Edward Storey, Barlow’s English teacher at Nashoba Tech.
Only a select number of finalists were invited to an awards ceremony
at the Statehouse, and Storey feels confident that Nashoba Tech
students will qualify for that honor in coming years.
This year, 32 students from Nashoba Tech entered the competition, and
all of them advanced to the second round of judging, where 19 were
selected for the semifinal round.
In addition to Barlow, others who advanced to the semifinal round are
sophomores Shannon Benoit (Chelmsford), Julia Champagne (Chelmsford),
Corina Crawford (Townsend), William Featherston (Pepperell), Elizabeth
Hillman (Ayer), Nathalie Marek (Littleton), Connie Marinilli
(Pepperell), Arianna Patenaude (Pepperell) Eneida Torres-Pagan
(Lowell) and Samantha Walsh (Townsend); and freshmen Copper Berry
(Littleton); Vanessa Clark (Westford), Jake DeSilva (Chelmsford),
Jayson Ducharme (Chelmsford), Vittoria Forte (Chelmsford), Michael
Levesque (Pepperell), Luke McKenna (Shirley) and Sean Thomas