County High Schoolers Win College Writing Contest

Isabelle Kang, Angela Youn, Eden Witelson and Norah Gordon

PARAMUS, N.J. – Of nearly 350 submissions from high school juniors and seniors, six Bergen County students claimed first-place honors in the 42nd annual Bergen County High School Writing Contest sponsored by the Bergen Community College English department. The contest, co-directed by Bergen professors Geoffrey Sadock, Ph.D., and Peter Helff, featured six categories of submissions – scholarly essay, poetry, personal essay, short story, drama and recent Americans – judged by Bergen faculty. The work of 20 finalists became part of the College’s literary journal, “Pegasus,” published annually in June. The first-place winners are, from left:

*Isabelle Kang, of Tenafly, Tenafly High School: “Heewon” (Recent Americans);

*Angela Youn, of Tenafly, Tenafly High School: “Violoncello” (Poetry);

*Eden Witelson, of Tenafly, Tenafly High School: “Hidden Memories” (Personal Essay); and

*Norah Gordon, of Waldwick, Bergen County Academies: “A Most Unusual Hat” (Short Story).

Students (not pictured) who also placed first are Stephanie Shue, of Saddle River, scholarly essay; and Vanessa Silva, of North Arlington, drama.

In recognition of their efforts, students received copies of the literary journal and Amazon gift cards.

Open to high school juniors and seniors, the annual countywide literary contest started accepting writing submissions in December 2017. Submissions were judged based on effective persuasion, clarity, reasoning, concept, style and thematic development.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017-18, enrolls 14,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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