Michelle Shen, 10, and Elie Hutchinson, 11, write right for Mr. Wright. They write because they are inspired to.
"We have a bulletin board in the front hallway called, 'Write right for Mr. Wright,'" said Kirk Wright, first-year principal of Potomac Elementary. "We encourage students to write and to be creative. Both girls have said how inspiring it's been."
MICHELLE AND ELIE were both recently awarded honors for their writing. Michelle, won third place for her essay, "The Importance of Diversity," in a contest open to all Montgomery County fifth and eighth graders. The contest was sponsored by the Montgomery County Committee on Hate Violence.
"I just hope people learn to value diversity," said Michelle, who will be traveling to China with her family for two-weeks during the summer. "There's so many races, religions and genders in the world."
Elie won a national award in the children/young adult fiction division of the Fifth Annual Authorlink New Author Awards Competition for a fantasy novella she wrote during the last year.
"I hope they'll enjoy it," said Elie of her readers.
"They are top notch, responsible and delightful students, the kind of students who represent the school well," said Wright.
ELIE, WHO SAYS she likes to write, read and draw as well as play video games, is "very artistic, a very high level thinker and an excellent student," said one of her teachers, Jodi Schaeffer.
Elie is a peer editor in her class and gives her peers feedback on their writing.
"I'm giving her an award for creativity and ingenuity. She's incredibly talented," said Schaeffer. "I can trust her writing skills so much, I don't even have to think about asking her to help."
David Bremenstuhl has taught at Potomac Elementary School for 38 years and is Michelle's fifth-grade teacher.
"She doesn't do things because other people expect her to, but because they are important to her," said Bremenstuhl. "She's far above the crowd as a student. Some students are motivated by grades, she's motivated by the ideas."
Michelle likes to draw, play tennis and swim. She is a musician as well.
Bremenstuhl asked Michelle to read her essay for an assembly at Potomac Elementary School.
"She is a child that can reach out to anyone. She is one of those leaders — some students are leaders because of their loud voices — she is the kind of leader that leads by the example she sets."