The Academic Competition Experience club at Cleveland High School sent four students to the 2014 state Quill finals.
The team finished third in the state, and one writer, Erika Grandstaff, brought home Cleveland’s first state championship. The competition was held at Simon G. Atkins Academic and Technology High School in Winston-Salem.
The Quill is a writing competition in which teams of four create written products given prompts. This year’s prompts were in creative writing, argumentation, literary analysis and problem-solution.
Grandstaff, a senior, handled the creative prompt for Cleveland. Her teammates were senior Patrick Kirk, argument; senior Danet Grabbe, literary analysis; and freshman Siara Lusk, problem-solution. The team advanced to the state finals by placing second in the region.
“[The competition] was a little nerve wracking at first because we were going up against some of the best teams in the state,” Kirk said. “Overall, it was a very fun experience, seeing as how we were first-time competitors.”
In winning the creative-writing contest, Grandstaff scored 98 out of a possible 100 points. She wrote a creative piece about a journalist who learns to overcome external and internal obstacles in order to achieve happiness.
“This was my first time winning an award outside of school, and I was just so proud of myself and my team for how we competed,” Grandstaff said. “I truly hope this championship shows students the advantages of academics as a competitive extracurricular, not just relying on sports, band or other events.”
Grandstaff added that when she heard her name called during the awards presentation, she so surprised she was almost unable to make the walk to collect her trophy.
“Actually, the first thought that went through my mind was that I somehow had to get my shoes back on,” Grandstaff said.
Cleveland competed against nine other high schools. Northwood High placed first place.
“I thought [Quill] was a great opportunity to see everything I had learned in [English] class put together in a competitive nature,” Grabbe said. “I had a lot of fun, and I’m happy we won a couple of trophies.”
Cleveland’s ACE Club advisers are Cinnamon Frame and John V. Wood. The club has competed in the following Scholastic Cup events this year: Science Olympiad, Quill, Twelve and Art Showcase. The club plans to compete in chess, Tarheel Forensic League, Quiz Bowl, State Mathematics Contest, Envirothon and Odyssey of the Mind next year.