Category: English

Teen Writing & Art Challenge hosted by Montgomery County Women’s Center

Photo: From left:  Melanie Jackman, Community Outreach Education Manager for MCWC;Cassandra Carrillo Aguilera – 2nd Place High School Writing; Bianca Mendoza – 1st Place High School Writing; Sophia Gonzalez – 2nd Place Jr. High Art; Caramia Mirra – 3rd Place High School Writing; Davis Payne – 2nd Place High School Art; Emily Danette Sanchez -3rd Place High School Art; Megann Helms – 3rd Place Jr. High Art; and Sarah Raleigh, MCWC President and CEO.

The Montgomery County Women’s Center invited teens to participate in the challenge as a way to create a safe environment to explore and discuss the impacts –

both positive and negative – of common dynamics found in these experiences.

The Writing & Art Challenge was open to all middle school and high school students who reside in Montgomery County. It included students attending public school, private school, alternative education, homeschool, etc. Participants were encouraged to enter a maximum of one submission in a writing or art category.

The writing submission ideas included essay, script, journal entry, poetry, short story, personal essay/memoir. The art submission ideas included flat art, 3D sculpture, ceramic/glass, jewelry, digital design, drawing/illustration, fashion, mixed media, photography, painting, and sculpture.

All works were evaluated by a blind judging process by a group of volunteer community members including high school students and adult judges on the criteria of theme, originality and creativity, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.

An awards ceremony was held at The Woodlands United Methodist Church on Feb. 22, 2018 which featured a Viewing Party where all students received a Certificate of Participation and the winners also received a Certificate of Appreciation. The winners included:


  • First Place Writing ($1000 Scholarship) – Bianca Mendoza, 12th grade, Conroe High School, “Metamorphosis”
  • First Place Art ($1000 Scholarship) – Chloe Pascual, 11th grade, The Woodlands High School, “Common Bond”
  • Second Place Writing ($500 Scholarship) – Cassandra Carrillo Aguilera, 11th grade, Conroe High School, “Dear Humanity”
  • Second Place Art ($500 Scholarship) – Davis Payne, 11th grade, Montgomery High School, “This Woman Believes”
  • Third Place Writing ($250 Scholarship) – Caramia Mirra, 11th grade, Conroe High School, “Trust In Relationships
  • Third Place Art ($250 Scholarship) – Emily Danette Sanchez, 11th grade, Conroe High School, “Trust can Change Like Day To Night”
  • Honorable Mention Art ($50 gift card) Ariadna Franco, 12th grade, Oak Ridge High School, “Waltz of Emotion”



  • First Place Art ($100 Gift Card) – Jennifer Alvarado, 8th grade, Washington Jr High, “Social Media Marriage”
  • Second Place Art ($50 Gift Card) – Sophia Gonzalez, 7th grade, McCullough Jr High, “Bold Stands Out In The Crowd”
  • Third Place Art ($25 Gift Card) – Megann Helms. 8th grade, “Hand In Hand”

The Montgomery County Women’s Center’s (MCWC) Youth Advisory Committee started in February 2017. “We acknowledge that youth are experts in their own lives and are key in developing solutions to the health issues in their lives,” notes Melanie Jackman, MSW, Community Outreach Education Manager for MCWC. “The primary function of the Youth Advisory Committee is to recognize youth as valuable stakeholders and we included them in the development, implementation, and evaluation of programming that our agency is delivering in schools and in the community.”

For more information about the MCWC’s Youth Advisory Committee, contact Melanie Jackman at (936) 441-4044 or

The Montgomery County Women’s Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a United Way agency whose mission is to lead the effort in preventing domestic violence and sexual assault through crisis intervention, assistance, advocacy, empowerment and social change. Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing, advocacy, counseling, legal services and community.

For more information about the Montgomery County Women’s Center, please call(936) 441-4044 or the 24-hour crisis hotline at (936) 441-7273 or visit

College Park Reading for a Better Life Photo Gallery

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The Conroe Independent School District is promoting a culture of reading by calling to action all adults within the Conroe ISD community to devote at least 30 minutes a day to reading aloud to children. (photo gallery)

Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn speaks at John Cooper School’s Signatures Author Series

Whether it was the plot-twisting novel or the edge-of-your-seat film, “Gone Girl” got America talking.

Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl,” gives the keynote address during the John Cooper School’s Signatures Author Series event on Friday at the The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.
Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl,” gives the keynote address during the John Cooper School’s Signatures Author Series event on Friday at the The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.

Award-winning novelist Gillian Flynn, author of the New York Times Bestseller “Gone Girl” and suspense thrillers “Dark Places” and “Sharp Objects,” was the featured keynote speaker at the John Cooper School’s annual Signatures Author Series event.

“Always keep writing,” Flynn advised. “Every first draft is awful—it’s supposed to be.”

According to John Cooper School Director of Marketing and Communications Deb Spiess, in order to make an event like this happen with such a well known author, “The stars have to align.” click here for complete story

Graduate Spotlight: Anni Blair of The Woodlands College Park High School

College Park Principal Dr. Mark Murrell & recent graduate, Anni Blair
College Park Principal Dr. Mark Murrell & recent graduate, Anni Blair

Anni Blair moved to the United States from China in 2011. At the time, she had been diagnosed with Sarcoma and had been encouraged to come to Texas for treatment at M.D. Anderson. In all, Anni had 11 cycles of chemotherapy and 31 radiation treatments.

Anni reports that she struggled both socially and with the language her first two years at College Park. She has transitioned well, however. This year, she took English 4 Honors and made an A in the course. Anni is also a College Park Honor graduate. click here for complete story

Beat the heat with summer classes at LSC-Montgomery

Montgmery_logo_ReSize_MedGet a head start on your college goals this summer at Lone Star College-Montgomery. With two summer sessions—the first beginning Monday, June 1, and the second beginning Monday, July 9, LSC-Montgomery has many classes available for those wanting to beat the heat and complete a collegecourse in just six weeks.

Plus, LSC-Montgomery now offers special, late start classes – in English and Speech- that begin Monday, June 8, and last only five weeks, making it easier for high school juniors or seniors to start a course after their regular school year is complete. Both in-person and online courses are available.

Continue reading “Beat the heat with summer classes at LSC-Montgomery”

The Woodlands High School takes top prize at district academic meet

5533150a94bae.imageThe Woodlands High School will have 31 students move on to the regional meet after winning the 6A District 16 competition at their own campus.

TWHS amassed 577 total points, putting them well ahead of second-place Kingwood High School at 322.

“I was surprised that we outscored the second place team by over 200 points,” science co-coach Matthew Davies said.

The Woodlands High School dominated the competition taking team gold medals in many events, including calculator applications, current issues, journalism, literary criticism, mathematics, number sense, science and social studies. click here for complete story