The spread of text messaging, e-mail and word processing has not deterred Gilbert student Hanah Vutipadadorn, 14, from mastering the low-tech art of handwriting.
Vutipadadorn finished eighth grade last week at Mesa’s Pilgrim Lutheran School with five consecutive state championships in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest and then something even better.
Zaner-Bloser representatives from Texas came to her school Thursday and declared her the 2005 eighth-grade national handwriting champion. Vutipadadorn, who will attend Gilbert’s Mesquite High School in the fall, received a Palm Pilot, a $500 savings bond and a $100 gift certificate for her school.
"If your teachers can’t read your handwriting, then they can’t grade your work," she said.
Pilgrim Lutheran principal Lynn Kuether agrees. His teachers set aside time weekly for penmanship.
The small private school has now produced a Zaner-Bloser national champion two years in a row. And this year, four other Pilgrim Lutheran students besides Vutipadadorn won state handwriting titles.
"Next year, maybe your school will have all eight state champions," said Lee Davis, a regional manager for Zaner-Bloser Educational Publishers.
Overall, about 140,000 students nationwide submitted handwriting samples for the contest.