Vermillion High School in Vermillion received the 2006 Writing to Win Exemplary School of Writing award. Gloria Smith-Rockhold of the South Dakota Office of Career and Technical Education and Marsha Kucker, State Director of High Schools that Work, presented the award on Aug. 8, during the joint conference of OCTE, the South Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education, HSTW, and Tech Prep, held in Pierre. Dr. Mark Froke, Cindy Heckenlaible, Sharla Krell, and Curt Cameron represented Vermillion High School and accepted the certificate of recognition.
In order to receive the Writing to Win Exemplary School of Writing, selected teachers from Vermillion High School became writing coaches for their school by attending a three-day Coaches' Workshop conducted by Dr. Warren Combs, founder of Writing to Win based in Athens, GA. Under his guidance, the coaches returned to their school, set up model classrooms and partnered with their administrators to extend the Writing to Win routines for writing into other classrooms.
Writing to Win is research-based and draws upon the work of the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Writing Project. Writing to Win, a three-part writing system implemented over three years, empowers students to produce authentic writing and to think critically. Phase 1 empowers students to engage in content area knowledge through short journal writing exercises. Phase 2 focuses on longer writing and the writing process. Phase 3 emphasizes sentence building skills.