Mrs. Paulus
Mrs. McClurg

Power of the Pen is Ohio’s exclusive, award-winning educational program devoted to excellence in creative writing.

2020-21 School Year


Houston’s junior high writing competition, Power of the Pen, took place virtually on January 23, 2021. Big shout out to Mikey Snow, 7th grade, who will receive a medal for his sixth place out of 44 writers. Seventh grader, Ryleigh Hughes will move on to Regionals alongside Mikey Snow. A total of 47 eighth graders competed against each other with Dylan Shaffer, Sophyah Hewitt, and Mya Lentz moving on to Regionals in March.
Regional competition in March will also be virtual. Best of luck to those moving on!

8th grade team members are all smiles after competing at Districts. Front row left to right: Sophyah Hewitt, Chloe Webb, Desiree Baxter. Second Row from left to right: Mason McDermit, Dylan Shaffer, and Mya Lentz
Mikey Snow, 7th grader, 6th place District Power of the Pen
Mason McDermit contemplates a story twist that would surprise M. Night Shyamalan
Dylan Shaffer writing the story that made hime regionals bound.
Riley Snider, Mikey Snow, and Mya Lentz contemplate the direction of their stories.
Anna Tauber pours her heart into her story.

2018-19 School Year


On Wednesday, March 13th, 8th grade members of the Power of the Pen team and 7th grader Chloe Drees, traveled to Lourdes University in Sylvania to compete at the regional competition. Eighth graders, Aurora DeLong, Alex Kellersmith, Abby Hickerson, Grace Koenig, Katelynn Rockwood and Melody Layton competed among 56 writers to earn the team a second place over all other teams. Melody Layton scored 12th place and earned a spot to move on to the state competition in Wooster in May.

Power of the Pen State Competitors with their ribbons and Trophies. Kneeling from left to right: Melody Layton and Abby Hickerson. Standing from left to right: Mrs. Paulus, Katelynn Rockwood, Chloe Drees, Alex Kellersmith, Grace Koenig, Aurora Delong and Mrs. Vestal.
The 8th grade team with their second place trophy. Left to right: Aurora Delong, Katelynn Rockwood, Alex Kellersmith, Abby Hickerson, Melody Layton, and Grace Koenig.
State qualifier Melody Layton with her 12th place medal.


Power of the Pen writers showcased their talents on Saturday February 9th as they traveled to Ft. Loramie to compete at the district level with over 1,000 stories being written by seventh and eighth graders. Eleven schools participated in the tournament, with 53 students writing in the 7th grade and 58 students writing in the 8th grade.

The 8th grade team finished 1st in the District. The following students placed with medals: 7th grader Chloe Drees earned 8th place, while 8th graders Alex Kellersmith placed 9th, Grace Koenig placed 6th, Aurora Delong placed 5th and winning a trophy, Abby Hickerson placed 3rd. Writers earning a #1 paper for a round include: Chloe Drees, Aurora Delong, Abby Hickerson, Grace Koenig, and Alex Kellersmith.

Congratulations to all our creative writers!

The 8th grade team with their District Championship Trophy and their medals. From left to right: Grace Koenig, Aurora Delong, Alex Kellersmith, Bryce Sauvie, Katelynn Rockwood, Melody Layton, Abby Hickerson, and Gavin Heilers.
The 7th grade team. Front row left to right: Katie Maier, Alayna Johnson, Elizabeth Low. Second Row from left to right: Kayla Heine, Chloe Drees, and Lexie Harris.
Both teams excitedly showing off all their hard earned hardware.

2017-18 School Year

Congratulations to several students whose writing was recognized as top notch! On Saturday March 17, 13 junior high writers traveled to Anna Middle School where they competed in a junior high writing competition called “Just Write.” Out of 105 writers 8th grader, Grace Rader received a second place trophy overall, while Megan Mills and Graceanne Slade also 8th graders received #2 papers in their section of writers. Proud of all our HHS writers!

8th Grade Team (Front Row): Viola Kies and Colton Spriggs (Second Row): Grace Slade, Ava Knouff, Keirstin Ludwig, Megan Mills, and Grace Rader
7th Grade Team (Front Row): Gavin Heilers, Alex Kellersmith, and Bryce Sauvie (Second Row): Abigail Hickerson, Kate Rockwood, Melody Layton, and Rory Delong
Grace Rader with her second place trophy

2016-17 School Year


Congratulations to the members of the Power of the Pen teams as they successfully competed to earn medals and trophies at the District Power of the Pen held at Botkins High School on Saturday, February 18, 2017. The seventh grade team of writers won second place overall. Megan Mills won a Best of Round I and received a fifth place overall, as well as Grace Rader receiving an eighth place overall. At the eighth grade level, Macy Duhaime won first place overall 8th grade and Mariah Booher received a seventh place overall eighth grade. The eighth grade team also brought home a second place trophy overall. The next competition is the Regional to be held here at Houston High School on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

8th Graders Macy Duhaime(1st place overall) and Mariah Booher (7th place overall)
7th Graders Grace Rader (8th place overall) and Megan Mills (5th place overall and Best of Round I)
8th Grade Team members with their Second Place trophy. (Front Row): Gus Gothberg, Macy Duhaime, Mariah Booher (Second Row): Collin Walker, Iona Downing, Maddy Wills, Kierstyn Oberdorf
7th Grade Team members with their Second Place trophy. (Front Row): Viola Kies, Keirstin Ludwig, Megan Mills, Grace Rader (Second Row): Ava Knouff, Grace Slade, Callie Lentz

2015-16 School Year


Congratulations to Houston’s Power of the Pen writers. Macy Duhaime placed 9th and Maddy Wills placed 11th in the Regional Power of the Pen competition held here on Saturday, March 12th. Also a big congrats goes out to Clarissa Kiehl who snagged a Best of the Best award. All three of these writers will advance to the State competition in May.

The competition on Saturday was a huge success. We received many compliments about our facility; how new it smelled and how clean and organized everything was. Finally thanks to Mr. Maier, Mr. Claypool, Mr. Stephens, Mr. Brown, Ms. Ayers, Ms. Heitkamp, Mrs. McClurg, custodial and kitchen staff, all teachers who graciously allowed us to use their rooms, and finally all our student volunteers who helped as runners. You ALL made Houston proud!

Power of the Pen State Qualifiers Maddy Wills, Macy Duhaime, and Clarissa Kiehl

Congratulations to the 7th and 8th grade Power of the Pen teams on a successful District competition on Saturday, February 14th! The 8th grade team placed 4th overall with Jacob Trent and Patrick Miering placing 5th and 7th, respectively. 7th graders Maddy Wills placed 11th and Macy Duhaime placed 4th. Macy also received a Best of Round Award for her writing in the 2nd round. Great job teams!

Congratulations to the team members that qualified for the Regional Power of the Pen Competition. They are 7th graders: Macy Duhaime, Maddy Wills, Mariah Booher and 8th graders: Jacob Trent, Patrick Meiring, Lexi Royse, and Clarissa Kiehl. The Regional competition will be held right here at Houston High School on March 12th. Additionally, Clarissa Kiehl was chosen to receive the Director’s Choice Award. This award is given to the student whose paper was deemed one of the best by the State Power of the Pen director, Loraine Merrill. Congratulations, Clarissa and to all the Regional qualifiers.

8th grade team placed 4th overall. Team members (left to right): Clarissa Kiehl, Hannah Hollinger, Lydia Lentz, Patrick Meiring, Jacob Trent, and Lexi Royse
7th grade team members (left to right): Collin Walker, Gus Gothberg, Mariah Booher, Iona Downing, Macy Duhaime, and Maddy Wills
Jacob Trent placed 5th and Patrick Miering finished 7th
Maddy Wills finished 11th and Macy Duhaime placed 4th
Macy Duhaime receiving Best of Round