National teachers council applauds Bob Jones’ ‘The Eclectic’ magazine

Seniors Kaylee Yem, from left, Alyssa Kennedy and Kayla Carden contributed work for "The Eclectic" in 2014. They are three of the editors for the 2015 publication. (CONTRIBUTED)
Seniors Kaylee Yem, from left, Alyssa Kennedy and Kayla Carden contributed work for “The Eclectic” in 2014. They are three of the editors for the 2015 publication. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – The National Council of Teachers of English has given highest praise to “The Eclectic,” a literary/arts magazine with a digital component produced by Bob Jones High School students.

The teachers’ council encourages schools to develop literary magazines and seek excellence in writing with school-wide participation.

“The Eclectic” contains fiction and nonfiction, comics, photography, art, digital compositions, poetry, ‘stage and screen’ entries, short films, animation, short documentaries and other works from creative writing, multimedia publications and art classes at Bob Jones.

To view “The Eclectic,” visit bjhstheeclectic.com.

Student editors in 2014 were Mary Butgereit, Emily Bohatch, Madelyn Wong, Adam Woelke, Daniel Lang, and Megan McDowell, along with Alanis Craig and Xandra Wiegand as website managers. Multimedia teacher Brandy Panagos directs the magazine’s production.

Wong, now a freshman at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, described the literary magazine as “a novel-sized beast, consistently 200-300 pages every year since 2010. It’s a labor of love.”

As layout editor, Wong learned “so much more than what could be outlined in a syllabus … how to shoot and edit my own video, code a website from scratch, run a professional social media account and use Adobe Creative Suite like a pro.”

“The magic happens in our ‘Feature’ section,” Panagos said. For 2014, the students chose to explore the Edward Snowden incident, revealing technology’s role in our lives. “We studied MIT’s literary magazine … and looked at Stanford’s Computer Science Poetry Contest.”

Their short stories and essays pondered artificial intelligence and cloning. In cross-curricular experience, Bob Jones writers with computer science students wrote code poems that launched software programs.

Humorous pieces from Casey Marley and Leah Plume captured experiences with emojis (symbolic icons) and captchas (online verifications).

“Honestly, we had such an amazing team of editors that I functioned as a coach, cheerleader and muse; student editors tackled the hard parts,” Panagos said. “My biggest challenge is making sure the multimedia publications class continues to exist.”

Many pieces in “The Eclectic” have won awards in other contests.

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