By: Tyler Witherspoon and Brian Nelson
At the beginning of the school year, one of the many changes occurring on the Gilman campus will be Ms. Beth Knapp taking over as Director of the Ticker Writing Center located on the second oor of Carey Hall. This year, Ms. Knapp hopes to make some changes from previous years by increasing the program’s e ciency and student participation.
The Writing Center is open to any student during fourth and fifth periods as well as during lunch for help on any essay, paper, or any other piece of writing that a student might need. The staff of the Writing Center is made up of roughly 40 upperclassmen who have shown exceptional writing abilities in their History and English classes as underclassmen. Ms. Knapp recognizes the value of the Writing Center, explaining, “I think that it was [effective]. The students that knew about it and used it frequently found it beneficial.” Though cognizant of its importance, Knapp hopes to improve upon the prior years’ success as she adds, “I’m not really sure there is anything that I’m going to change, but there are certainly areas that I’m going to focus on...I’m going to get the participants to be very active and try to get as many students as possible to come in ... [Writing Center consultants] will have to clock a certain amount of hours and do training outside of the school day.” Ms. Knapp will be assisted in running the Writing Center by this year’s Tickner Writing Fellow, Gilman’s writer-in-residence, Ms. Thea Brown.
In previous years, it was common for some teachers to award extra credit to students who go to the Writing Center. Ms. Knapp is considering continuing this trend, stating that “I haven’t really thought about it, but that will be something I will discuss with my English Department colleagues at our next meeting.”
Students are excited about a revamped program. Writing Center consultant Max Kahn (‘17) has high hopes for the program’s upcoming school year, as he states, “I am looking forward to building o a year in the Writing Center but will miss working with Mr. Spragins, although I am excited to see what Ms. Knapp has in mind for this year.”