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persky_1Some of Milton’s best student writers gathered with faculty and guests in Cox Library on Monday evening for the Laurence S. Persky Memorial Awards. The annual awards are given for the best work appearing in Milton Academy student publications and honors excellence in creative writing, journalism, art, photography and production.

Guest speaker Cynthia Needham ’95, an editor at the Boston Globe, spoke to the students about the craft of writing and her circuitous route to a career as a reporter. She told a personal story of working for the Manhattan district attorney’s office and how her experience on 9/11 made her turn from a career in law and pursue her passion for writing.

“When I was at Milton, I was afraid to put myself out there. I never wrote for the paper or published any writing,” said Ms. Needham. “I liked to write, but I wasn’t a writer. Bravo to all of you to have the courage to put yourself out there. When you leave here, remember what writing meant to you here. Not just at this moment when you are being honored, but when you are alone in front of the keyboard, late at night. Remember what it meant to you here and make sure you keep doing it.”

The Persky Awards were established to honor the memory of a Milton student writer who passed away just prior to his Class I year over 30 years ago.  The Perskys attended this year’s event, and Eleanor Persky spoke briefly about what the evening means for her and her husband. She gave special thanks to faculty member Jim Connolly who handles all aspects of the awards. Head of School Todd Bland did the honor of calling up the students individually and handing them their awards.

A feature unique to this School award is that all the judges are professional writers and artists. This year’s judges were Dan Wasserman and Christine Chinlund from the Boston Globe, writer Don Johnson, and Gregory Mone, a novelist and science writer.



Best Poem: Charlotte Reed for “Acupuncture,” Magus Mabus, Vol. I, Winter, 2010

Best Fiction:  Tina Cho for untitled short story, Magus Mabus, Vol. II, Spring, 2011


Best Editorial:  Chelsea Mehra for “Reforming Affective Education,” The Milton Measure, November 23, 2010

Best Commentary:  Henry Green for “CNN Tries to Stay Relevant,” The Milton Paper, February 18, 2011

Best News Story: Christine Cahill and Hannah Grace for “Reunion for Alumni of Color,”
The Milton Paper, May 28, 2010

Best Feature Story: Emma City, Angie Song and Jessica Blau for “ Athletic Recruiting,” The Milton Paper,
October 1, 2010

Best Sports Story: James Wang for “Finish Strong” The Milton Measure, November 23, 2010

Best Arts Story: Yoshi Makishima for “Wicked: Anatomy of a Phenomenon,” The Milton Paper, October 22, 2010

Best Science Essay: Sam Karlinski for “Can I Trade You Arsenic for Your Phosphorus?” Helix, April, 2011


Best Work of Art: Danielle Cahoon for “Art Flowers,” Magus Mabus, p.39 Vol. I, Winter, 2010

YEARBOOK AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION: Jessica White, Caitlin Dutkiewicz, Michael Berke, and Rachel Black