Principal Rita Pilling said West Jasper, like many other area schools, focuses a lot on writing.
“Reading and writing are crucial to future success,” she said.
Stephanie Jones teaches third grade at West Jasper. She is an author and has several books that have been published in recent years. Along with a friend, Jones writes under the pen name Alicia Hunter Pace. Books published by the duo include a fantasy series, which Jones described as “Army Wives” meets “The Lord of the Rings,” and “Gone South,” a series of romance novels.
Jones said her love of writing is an asset to her as a teacher.
“We have developed a school-wide writing plan, which begins in pre-K,” she said. “I feel writing is an important part of life. With basically any job, you use writing at some point. You have to be able to communicate with people.”
A writing contest was held in Jones’ class, and four winners — Faith Carmody, Ollia Finch, Kyla Howard and Samantha Taylor — were chosen to attend Monday’s meeting with their teacher and principal. Each of the girls shared with Kiwanis members why they loved writing. The girls also asked questions of the members of the group to find out if they write in their professions.
“I like writing and reading because it helps me learn more,” Taylor said.
Finch said she hopes writing will prepare her for careers as a veterinarian, teacher and marine.
“I will need to know how to write as a vet in case something happens and someone tries to sue me,” she said.
Pilling said West Jasper Elementary is excelling in other areas as well, reporting a group of 10 students recently competed in a regional technology competition with each student earning a medal.
“There are a lot of god things going on a West Jasper,” she said. “We appreciate all the support we receive from the community.”