Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two La Jolla High teams win national reading and analysis competition

Two teams from La Jolla High have won highest honors in the 2013 WordWright Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry.

Nico Nave, Clay Halbert, Thomas Godek
Alma Halgren and Gabrielle Pearson
Juniors Alma Halgren and Gabrielle Pearson, as well as sophomore Clay Halbert, earned perfect scores. Other students participating and receiving high individual honors were sophomores, Nico Nave and Thomas Godek.

La Jolla High English teacher Jewel Weien uses the WordWright competition as part of her instruction. The WordWright Challenge is a national reading competition for students in grades 9-12 that requires analytical reading of many kinds of prose and poetry. It emphasizes perceptive interpretation, sensitivity to language, and an appreciation of style. More than 54,000 students from some of the best public and private high schools in 46 states (and four foreign nations) participated last year.

Overall, two teams from La Jolla High won highest honors in the competition, with the school's 11th grade team tied for eighth in the nation.

The tests for the first WordWright in this school year were a short story by Tess Hadley for grades 9-10 and a pair of essays by Thomas Carlyle and Frank Bruni (written more than 150 years apart) for grades 11-12. The students will participate in three more WordWright meets during this school year, with awards going to students who make the most progress during the year.

For more information on the program, contact Weien at, and on the program at