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Scribes, poets published in WHS-produced book

WORTHINGTON -- More than 40 Worthington High School students became published writers and poets during the 2005-2006 school year, their works appearing in such periodicals as the National High School Writer and Young Poets Speak Out -- among others.

Now, thanks to a volunteer project completed by a graduating senior during spring quarter, those works can be viewed locally in the WHS-produced Trojan Writer. The book is the first of its kind to be published by the high school.

Marie Pavelko, an SVS (Student Volunteer Service) aide for high school English teacher Stacy Sauerbrei, was tasked to compile the student works into book form. She designed each page to include the student author's name, photograph, winning submission and information about where and when the work was published.

Pavelko, who also works on the school's yearbook staff, received help from instructors Tom Ahlberg and Tricia Mikle, who provided the laptop computer, programming software and graphics input for the project. Travis Fagerness, a fellow classmate of Pavelko, designed the cover for the 20-page book.

Once pages were designed, they were printed on equipment at the high school and bound using the middle school's binding machine. A grant Sauerbrei earned in 2005 from Creative Communications funded the project's printing.

"In 2005, we were one of the top schools in the Midwest for having students published," Sauerbrei explained.

As such, they were told they could receive a grant if they had a use in mind. That's when Sauerbrei decided to create a local book.

"I've been wanting to do this for actually a couple of years, because we've had so many kids get their writings published," he said.

Because of time constraints and funding, the project wasn't possible until this year, when Pavelko offered to be Sauerbrei's SVS assistant.

Pavelko enjoyed working on the book project and using the skills she learned as a yearbook member.

"It's important to show the community that there are people in the school who are good enough to be (published) throughout the United States," she said. "It's good to give these students credit for what they have achieved."

Works included in the Trojan Writer vary from essays about best friends and family to poems about the death of a mother to nature and love. Many of the writings were completed by students for class assignments.

Each author received one copy of the book, with the remaining 100 copies to be distributed among local dentists and doctors to display in their waiting rooms.

"I think this created some real excitement -- not just with the kids, but the teaching staff and administration," Sauerbrei said. "We'd like to do something again right away next year if we can get the right people in place again."

He and Ahlberg are also discussing the possibility of incorporating the book's development into the curriculum to be completed as a class project.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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