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300 attend annual Nan Rushing Write-Off
W Nan Rushing
Nan Rushing is shown at the competition she founded 25 years ago and now named for her - the Nan Rushing Write-Off. - photo by Special

  With a crowd of more than 300 parents, teachers and students from each of the county’s middle schools, and the loud cheers of school spirit, it sounded more like a pep-rally for an athletic event. But last Saturday in the Southeast Bulloch Middle School Cafetorium the crowd came out to participate and celebrate language arts at the 25th Annual Nan Rushing Write-off.
      Sixty awards were given out in seven categories and Southeast Bulloch Middle took the overall school champion award.
      The competition was started in 1985 by then language arts teacher Nan Rushing, who had received a $1,000 mini-grant from the school system that year to begin a writing event in Nevils. 
      “Initially the write-off was only for seventh graders, and now it’s grown into a true middle-school concept,” Rushing said.
      Rushing came to the event and sat beaming and cheering each student as the winners were announced.
      Of the 10 mini-grants awarded in 1985, by former School Superintendent Ed Wynn, the Nan Rushing Write-off and the Penny Sikes Math Tournament are the two remaining programs that have stood the test of time and offered a valuable tool for encouraging students in math and language arts.
      Rushing was an educator for 37 years, with 20 of those years in Nevils. She also came out of retirement to teach language arts for seven years at Southeast Bulloch High School. 
      The Write-Off was named in her honor in 2008. Rushing thanked businesses like Excelsior EMC, Brooklet Kiwanis, local banks, and other civic groups who have supported the write-off through the years after the initial grant ended.
      The competition is coordinated by Janine Deal and Terry Rushing of SEB Middle.

      The following is a list of this year’s winners:
Vocabulary:  Sixth Grade – 1st Ashley Van Vleck, SEBMS; 2nd John Crowe, WJMS; 3rd Micah Kartchner, LCMS.  Seventh Grade – 1st Hannah Sikes, WJMS; 2nd Natasha Liston-Beck, LCMS; 3rd Michael Carter, LCMS.  Eighth Grade – 1st Ginna Groover, SEBMS; 2nd Weibo Fu, WJMS; 3rd Schad Lloyd, LCMS.
Spelling: Sixth Grade - 1st Corrin Gray, WJMS; 2nd Bailey Droste, SEBMS; 3rd Bryce Findley, LCMS.  Seventh Grade – 1st Scarlet Shumate, WJMS; 2nd Serina Scott, SEBMS; 3rd Hagins Thompson, WJMS.  Eighth Grade – 1st Fielding Keeley, WJMS; 2nd Brent Garrick, WJMS;  3rd Xamaica Sheffield, SEBMS.
Capitalization/Punctuation:  Sixth Grade – 1st Katelyn Bennett, WJMS; 2nd Gabrielle Prichett, LCMS; 3rd Mallory Hein, WJMS.  Seventh Grade – 1st Katy Zuber, WJMS; 2nd Sarah Rushing, SEBMS; 3rd Charles James, SEBMS.  Eighth Grade – 1st Tanaisha Thomas, LCMS;  2nd Taylor Wilkes, SEBMS; 3rd Sasha Natson, WJMS.
Usage:  Sixth Grade – 1st Annalise Fennell, WJMS; 2nd Joslyn Joseph, LCMS; 3rd Adam Redman, WJMS.  Seventh Grade – 1st Cierra Crowe, SEBMS; 2nd Genevieve Oakfor, LCMS; 3rd Jaquez Carter, LCMS.  Eighth Grade – 1st Ellen Besier, LCMS; 2nd Alex Vilioen, SEBMS; 3rd Trisha Mitra, WJMS.
Language Expression:  Sixth Grade – 1st Gabriel Petkewich, SEBMS; 2nd Samantha Pollak, WJMS; 3rd Tyra Davis, LCMS.  Seventh Grade – 1st Lauren Boddi Ford, SEBMS; 2nd Blake Lewis, SEBMS; 3rd Lyndsey Wasdin, WJMS.  Eighth Grade – 1st Lindsey Crosby, SEBMS; 2nd Rachel Bunch, SEBMS; 3rd LaShawn Lyons, LCMS.
Writing:  Sixth Grade – 1st Alexis Costlow, LCMS; 2nd Darcy Downie, SEBMS; 3rd Monica Schubert, SEBMS.  Seventh Grade – 1st Samantha Goodman, SEBMS; 2nd D’Asia Lipsey, LCMS; 3rd Allie Lewis, WJMS.  Eighth Grade – 1st Katy Burrell, SEBMS; 2nd Annalycia Liston-Beck, LCMS; 3rd Dakota Burnsed, SEBMS.
Mental Concentration:  Sixth Grade – 1st John Jarrett, WJMS; 2nd Ellie Bailey, LCMS; 3rd Eric Riggs, SEBMS.  Seventh Grade – 1st Steven Burrell, SEBMS; 2nd Ted Griffin, WJMS; 3rd Taylor Lewis, SEBMS. Eighth Grade – 1st Clay Cribbs, WJMS; Lane Tankersley, SEBMS; 3rd George Gagel, WJMS.
Top Sixth Grade Award - WJMS. 
Top Seventh Grade Award – A tie between SEBMS and WJMS.
Top Eighth Grade Award – SEBMS. 
Overall Winner – SEBMS.