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SHS student wins state essay contest
John Henry BowenWeb
Statesboro High student John Hunter Bowen, right, talks with Eddie Frazier, who teaches drama and journalism at the school. Bowen recently took first place in the state for the essay part of Georgia High School Association Literary Meet. - photo by Special
    John Hunter Bowen was looking for a bigger challenge when he transferred to Statesboro High School last year.
    “(Statesboro) has more diversity, and a much larger student body,” Bowen said. “There are a lot more classes to choose from, and you can build your studies around your interests”.
    Bowen seized on all those advantages last month and won the top essay award in the  Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Literary Meet held at Warner Robins High School.
    Writing about the contrasts of conformity and individuality in George Orwell’s famous novel “1984,” Bowen’s essay beat out the 12 other region winners from around the state.
    Linda Webb, his teacher in AP American History, described Bowen this way: “In class, John expresses himself very well. He is also probably the best young writer I have ever seen.”
    Bowen praised Webb, too. “Mrs. Webb is the best history teacher I have ever had. Listening to her, history actually makes sense to me.”
    Eddie Frazier, Statesboro High’s drama and journalism teacher, heard about Bowen’s skills and asked him to join the SHS Literary team. Frazier soon learned that “John’s writing style is not flamboyant. He writes in a scholarly fashion while still exhibiting a certain amount of flair.”
    Bowen said the stiff competition didn’t worry him.
    “It really wasn’t a problem” he said. His essay on “1984” warned about “what happens when you comply in order to conform. It’s all about giving up too much of your personal freedoms in order to just get along and not stand out.”
    Though he was confident, Bowen remembered thinking “that I would probably would come in 13th.”  When he was told he won, Bowen said he was so surprised he “walked around in kind of a daze.”
    Despite his modesty, Bowen is no stranger to competitions.
    He took third place in spelling in last year’s GHSA Literary Meet for Bulloch Academy, and twice has finished first in the Individual Category at the Georgia Southern Regional Math Tournament.

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