Four Green High School students took top honors in the Holocaust Arts and Writing Contest sponsored by the City of Akron.

Four Green High School students took top honors in the Holocaust Arts and Writing Contest sponsored by the City of Akron.

Juniors Marisa Lovell, Gracyn Noffert and Erin Ross took first place in the Division II Multimedia competition. Senior Sam Olin-Hite took the "Best of the Best" Dorothy O Jackson Award  in the Division II Writing competition.

The girls did a multimedia presentation of pictures and music on Irena Sendler while Sam did a poem entitled "Faceless.”

In recognition of their accomplishments, the students received an all-expenses paid flight to Washington, D.C. to visit the Holocaust Museum and tour the Capitol with their teacher Elaine Miller.

"We chose Irena Sendler because she saved hundred's of Jewish children," Lovell said. "She has never been recognized for what she did so we wanted to show the amazing deeds she performed."

"Our project was like a mini-movie," Noffert said. "This year’s theme was rescue and indifference and we focused on the rescue aspect. Irena was the daughter of a doctor who died while helping Jews in Warsaw. She took over after he died. In her pictures she was so cute. She was the only woman in the most influential top ten people who helped during the Holocaust so that is why we picked her."

"This started out as a class project," Ross said, " but soon learned to connect with the Holocaust in a new way. I am very thankful for the opportunity to take part in this project."

Olin-Hite said it was an interesting feeling to win the award since he had just played Anne Frank's father in the Green High production of "The Diary of Anne Frank.” The poem he submitted for competition detailed the lives of those who could have offered help to Holocaust victims during the war, but chose not to.

“It was a retrospect from people who could have helped,” Olin-Hite said. “I chose poetry because I could use metaphors and could evoke emotions that I could not do in an essay. That allowed it to really hit home. … It is an honor to know that I helped shed light on what people went through."

All the students were excited about the opportunity to see the Holocaust museum.

 "I have been to the museum before," Ross said, "and it was a moving experience. I am looking forward to going back, though it is hard to know how emotional it will be.”

All the students praised their teacher, Elaine Miller, for the support and encouragement she gave them. Miller will be retiring this year and this is a final tribute to the excellent work she has done with her English students.