VHS students win FCTE awards

Samantha Walston and Kimberly Frederick

Vernon High School would like to congratulate junior Samantha Walston and sophomore Kimberly Frederick for being chosen by the Florida Council for Teachers of English, FCTE, for winning the Florida high school screenplay competition and high school poetry competition respectively.

Walston, a sixteen-year-old four-time published author, submitted her original screenplay, Stay Where You Belong which is a unique mystery film. She is thankful to her teacher Mrs. Rackley for helping her find her creative voice and to her mother for encouraging her to pursue her dreams of writing.

Frederick submitted her original poem, Red Clay of Alabama, about her childhood home.  She would also like to thank Mrs. Rackley for encouraging her, but most of all, she’d like to thank her writing mentor, Mr. Shane Sapp, for his help in cultivating her poetry skills.

Mrs. Anna Beth Rackley is so proud of these two young women. She taught Samantha in eighth and ninth grade English and in Creative Writing where Samantha found a love for penning screenplays. Rackley also had the pleasure of teaching Frederick in ninth grade English but credits her intern, Mr. Shane Sapp, with helping Kimberly develop her way with words.  Rackley expresses her thanks to FTCE for placing the spotlight on young writers who so often get overlooked.

Walston and Frederick were invited to attend a writing workshop and awards ceremony at the University of South Florida, where they were given the chance to meet author Jerry Spinelli along with other notable writers.  Samantha said the trip was an experience of a lifetime that has inspired her to pursue a career in writing.

Vernon High School was very well-represented at USF!  Please join VHS in congratulating these amazing young authors!