Archmere Students Earn Highest Cumulative WordWright Honors
In the cumulative standings at the end of the WordWright Challenge meets this year, Archmere's twelfth graders tied for ninth place in the nation among all teams at their grade level. The students were supervised by Archmere English teacher, Mr. Stephen Klinge.
Over 686 high school teams participated in this national competition. Two of Archmere's students won highest honors for year-long individual achievement: Aislinn Smeader '21 was the second highest ranked eleventh grader in the entire country in the year end cumulative standings, while Lauren Simpson '20 was one of the 31 highest ranked twelfth graders nationwide.
The WordWright Challenge is a national reading competition for students in grades 9 through 12 that require analytical reading of many kinds of prose and poetry, emphasizing perceptive interpretation, sensitivity to language, and an appreciation of style. Though the Challenge compromises four meets annually, this year’s standings were comprised on the basis of only the first three, the closing of so many schools during the last months of the school year having made teacher-supervised administration of the final meet too difficult. The sum of the scores of the top 10 students at each grade level represents each team's score.
The texts for the final WordWright meet this year were a short story by John Updike for ninth and tenth graders and a short story by Maile Meloy for eleventh and twelfth graders. Similar to the questions on the ACT, the verbal SAT I, the SAT II in English Literature, and the Advanced Placement exams in both English Language and English Literature, the questions posed by the WordWright Challenge ask students to recognize the emotional and/or rational logic of a piece of writing and to notice the ways in which a writer’s style shapes his meaning. After completing a Challenge, classes are encouraged to talk about the text and the answers to the multiple-choice questions, and are also given additional topics for open-ended discussion and/or written response.