The parents behind the papers

Kate+Burroughs+strongly+believes+in+what+the+Writing+Center+does%2C+and+it%E2%80%99s+importance+to+the+students+at+WHHS.+%E2%80%9CThis+is+the+time+for+students+to+get+the+practice+and+enhance+their+skills%2C%E2%80%9D+Burroughs+said.
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The parents behind the papers

Kate Burroughs strongly believes in what the Writing Center does, and it’s importance to the students at WHHS. “This is the time for students to get the practice and enhance their skills,” Burroughs said.

Kate Burroughs strongly believes in what the Writing Center does, and it’s importance to the students at WHHS. “This is the time for students to get the practice and enhance their skills,” Burroughs said.

Abby Jay

Kate Burroughs strongly believes in what the Writing Center does, and it’s importance to the students at WHHS. “This is the time for students to get the practice and enhance their skills,” Burroughs said.

Abby Jay

Abby Jay

Kate Burroughs strongly believes in what the Writing Center does, and it’s importance to the students at WHHS. “This is the time for students to get the practice and enhance their skills,” Burroughs said.

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The Writing Center, located in room 3301, is a facility at WHHS that exists to help students improve their writing, from essays to resumes to college essays.

“The Writing Center is a judgement free zone, and everyone in there, from the staff to the volunteers, is there to help support the students wherever they are in their writing abilities, and to coach them to enhance their skills,” Kate Burroughs, a parent volunteer at the Writing Center, said.

The Writing Center is directed by Dr. Cynthia Carlton-Ford, and is made up of people dedicated to helping students, from volunteers to retired teachers. Two of these volunteers, Gina Petonito and Kate Burroughs, are parents of current WHHS students.

Petonito is one of the parents who volunteers in the Writing Center, and has volunteered since 2014. She first learned of the Writing Center through her son, SENIOR Abdul-Rahman Smari. She comes in once a week, and helps edit students’ works, from college application essays to research papers.

Petonito has been passionate about writing for most of her life. “I take workshops on writing, I study writing, I read books on writing, I go to conferences on writing, it’s really a big, big part of my life,” Petonito said.

Abby Jay
Kate Burroughs strongly believes in what the Writing Center does, and it’s importance to the students at WHHS. “This is the time for students to get the practice and enhance their skills,” Burroughs said.

Petonito was an assistant editor of the multi volume collection American Legislative Leaders in the Northeast. She spent years editing these volumes, line by line. In addition, Petonito writes scholarly articles for academic journals and is currently writing a novel, titled Coming Home. These works that she writes herself, she also edits herself. “I would say that things that I publish, I probably edit eight times, at least,” Petonito said.

Petonito first took an interest in volunteering at the Writing Center due to her experience in the services that the Writing Center offers: editing and writing tips. “I thought that I would volunteer my time and my expertise,” Petonito said.

Outside of the Writing Center, Petonito is a sociology professor at Miami University. She spends a large amount of time teaching her students how to write in class. She is also a volunteer judge of the WHHS Science Fair.

Kate Burroughs is the second parent who volunteers at the Writing Center and also a WHHS alumna. She has been volunteering there for a year and a half.

Burroughs also learned of the Writing Center through her child, when her son was sent to the Writing Center as a seventh grader. She wanted to contribute to the school that her children attended, and volunteer in some way.

“The Writing Center was a good fit for me to work directly with the students doing something that I enjoy, which is writing, and that is incredibly important,” Burroughs said.

Burroughs loves helping the kids at the Writing Center, and also gains a lot from it.

By being here, even my writing has gotten better because of the kids pushing me with their ideas, interesting thoughts and conversations.”

— Kate Burroughs, Writing Center Volunteer

“I’m not the writer that I was two years ago, before I started here. Because by being here, even my writing has gotten better because of the kids pushing me with their ideas, interesting thoughts and conversations that I’ve had with them that have made me think about how I write something,” Burroughs said.

Outside of the Writing Center, Burroughs is an attorney. She is currently General Counsel and Vice President of Client Services for Sales Genesis, a company that she started with her husband.

Burroughs and Petonito are integral parts of the Writing Center, and provide invaluable help to hundreds of students in their writing.