Brainerd High School senior Jessie Rosenthal writes at the spur of the moment.
She can't sit down on any given day and start writing. When she has an idea she grabs a pen and the words flow onto the paper. Rosenthal won the National Council of Teachers of English national award for her writings and she was named Fine Arts Student of the Week.
Rosenthal said when she was a sophomore, the high school English teacher wrote a list of students who had a strong background in writing for the Advanced Placement language teacher, Chris Niemi. Niemi then chose the top four students to submit their writings for the NCTE award. The NCTE is an organization devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.
Rosenthal was the only Brainerd student to win the award. Rosenthal submitted three poems and an essay she wrote as a junior. Her essay was about her response to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."
"I responded to her style of writing," said Rosenthal. "She is my favorite author. I like the time period she writes in and her style is unique."
The three poems Rosenthal wrote have no structure, she said. The first poem was a long sonnet about goals in life.
"The goals in the poem were not specific, but were about what I expect life to hold," she said. "I tied my sports into the poem. The words were more imaginary like the roads I'd run on would lead me to the future."
The two other poems were short anecdotes about relationships with her close friends and how to deal with emotional stress.
Art focus: Creative writing
Art activities: Creative writing
Favorite subjects: Advanced Placement language and AP statistics
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Winning the 2003 National Council of Teachers of English award
Artist most admired: Jane Austen
Favorite movie: "Office Space"
Favorite TV program: "The Bachelor"
Favorite song: "Your Love" by The Outfield
Parents: Tom and Linda Rosenthal of Brainerd
English and literature courses come easily to Rosenthal. She has always liked to write and she enjoys reading.
"There is a lot of depth in literature that people don't get," she said.
Rosenthal said her strongest skill in writing is that she is concise. She said she can write when she needs to in a limited time and it doesn't take her too many pages to complete the task.
She said she needs to improve her grammar and how she structures her writing.
Rosenthal plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead or the University of Minnesota-Duluth and major in journalism or law.
Rosenthal said she can see herself writing poems and short stories as a hobby after high school. So far she has written 10 poems and has several other poems she started to write, but has not finished.
Scott Bock, senior, debate: Bock recently took second place at the University of Minnesota Invitational Debate Tournament. He lost the final round to Kellen Riley, also of Brainerd. Bock gained the most speaker points in the tournament and won the first-place speaker award.
Jaclyn Wilcox, senior, Brainonian: The Brainonian adviser said, "Jackie is one of the most helpful students in the Brainonian class. Not only does she do good work, she always has a great attitude and is willing to go above and beyond when there is a job to do."
Brett Severson, junior, orchestra: Severson has played bass in the high school Chamber Orchestra for two years. He is a teacher is the Brainerd Community Education program Learn to Play in the Orchestra. The orchestra director said, "Brett also works with Sinfonia members and does an outstanding job in leadership."
Krista Matich, junior, art: Matich's adviser said, "Krista is willing to work at the repeated effort of developing good solutions to drawing problems. Her draftsmanship is at a high level and an exemplary display of her sensitivity to work in pencil and values."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.