The student: Claire Boman, 17
School: Mount Hebron High
Special achievement: Claire is a teen columnist for the local newspaper, The View. She alternates weekly columns with another student. "My first article for the paper was about a Back Street Boys concert when I was in seventh grade. Miss Phyllis [editor Phyllis Greenbaum] really likes to have articles from kids and teen-agers - she encourages it."
How did she get the job? "It's actually kind of funny. Miss Phyllis came to me because she knows I'm a good writer. I was a little hesitant about it at first. I'm not so confident with my writing, actually. I guess I thought people wouldn't like it. I thought, 'Why would people want to listen to me?' "
What has been the response to her column? Claire says that students and teachers get in touch with her in school or via e-mail if they like what she has written. "It's flattering. I didn't think people would respond like this." When people relate to her article, "I feel like I'm not alone," she says.
Other activities: She is the features editor of her school newspaper, The Mountain. "I like reading other kids' writing. I like helping them, giving them advice. It's just so great to see the article from the beginning ... to what gets published."