June 25 was the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project’s (KMWP) annual awards banquet. We celebrated the KMWP fellows of our 2015 Invitational Summer Institute (ISI), we honored the work of teachers and leaders in our community who promote literacy and leadership, and we praised the young authors and recipients of our Leslie Walker Writers of Promise awards.
Each of the 2015 ISI fellows read a short composition inspired from events during the institute.
The KMWP presents three awards to individuals who contribute to literacy development in northwest Georgia. Any KMWP affiliate may nominate fellow teachers, administrators, central office personnel, or community members for these awards.
The Teacher of Promise award is presented to a new teacher who shows exceptional ability and commitment who is in his or her first three years of teaching. The Teacher Leadership award is presented to a KMWP teacher affiliate who is a leader and encourages leadership in colleagues. The Sponsor of Literacy award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated continuous efforts to improve literacy, teacher leadership, and the educational climate in today’s schools.
In 2008, KMWP created a writing contest as a legacy of a friend and teacher leader. Leslie Walker was an educator at Campbell High School, a 1998 KMWP ISI fellow, and an inspiration to her students and colleagues. In the words of Scott Smoot, creator and past director of the contest, “Researching with KMWP, Leslie developed a special insight that writing is about establishing community. She would say that you write best with the support of a caring community of writers, you write best about the community you know, and you learn from your community when you write. Most miraculously, you draw others into new community through your imagination and language.”
The 2015 Leslie Walker Writers of Promise winners are Kylan Barbieri (elementary)–not pictured–, Gwyneth Smith (middle), and Megan Adam (high).