Joliet Central High School Students Present at USF English Language and Literature Conference
November 16, 2016 08:27 AM
Joliet Central High School Advanced Placement English students Benjamin Hallihan, Maxwell Munch, and Roberto Rosales were selected to present their papers at the 25th Annual University of St. Francis English Language and Literature Conference on Nov. 12.
The three Central seniors are the only high school students who presented among college students throughout the country and all three presentations won awards with Munch receiving The Ralph Ellison Award for Examination of a Protagonist; Hallihan winning The Walt Whitman Award for Best Essay Title; and Rosales winning The Oscar Wilde Award for Literature and Exile. This is the first time that high school students have presented papers at USF's English Language and Literature Conference.
Central English teacher Dr. Linda Bowers, and husband, Dr. John Bowers, a professor at USF, worked with the students during the week and on weekends to prepare for the presentation.
The presentations addressed a writing prompt Dr. Linda Bowers gave in class that asked students to write an essay that examined the physical and spiritual journey of self-discovery in relation to Oedipus’ journey to understanding self.
When Bowers read the students' essays, she knew they could present at the college level.
“When I was asked by Dr. Elizabeth McDermott to have students present papers at USF’s English Language and Literature Conference, I was excited about our students having this opportunity to be included in a university conference so they could get a sense of what a university academic forum is like,” said Dr. Linda Bowers. “Their writing assignment was to examine Oedipus’ journey to self-discovery, and the students wrote insightful and provocative essays, ranging from Ben Hallihan’s “To Sonder or Not to Sonder: Oedipus Comes to See the Drama”; Roberto Rosales’ “Humanity: Examining Exile in Sophocles’ Oedipus”; to Maxwell Munch’s “The Homing and Unhoming of Oedepus in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex.”
JTHS currently offers 17 AP courses and 27 Dual Credit courses and has made remarkable gains over the past five years, increasing the number of students taking AP courses and exams by over 200 percent, while simultaneously increasing the amount of students scoring 3 or higher on the AP exam.
“I am proud of our Joliet Central students and their contribution to our community,” Said Dr. Linda Bowers. “They make us all proud to be a part of the Joliet Township High School District 204 family.”