The Highlands School’s Poetry Contest Winners Recognized by Maryland’s First Lady Dawn Moore 


The Highlands School, a K-8 independent school in Bel Air that educates students with learning differences and achievement gaps, recently held a mental health-focused poetry contest. The winners of the contest, 10 students spanning grades 3rd-12th, were invited to Maryland’s State House and Government House for private tours.  

The contest encouraged students to write about and reflect on mental health as well as the academic struggles they may have faced throughout their education journey. The poems were compiled into a book titled “Take My Hand.” 

Maryland’s First Lady Dawn Moore was gifted a copy of the book and joined the Government House tour to personally congratulate the contest winners. She also signed a copy of the book for The Highlands School to keep. After the tour, students were invited to have lunch in Government House’s formal dining room. 

“It’s no secret that First Lady Moore has a passion for bringing attention to children’s mental health,” said Head of School Claudia Nachtigal. “We cannot express how grateful we are that she took the time to join our tour and congratulate our students. Most of our students are neurodiverse, and celebrating those differences is crucial. First Lady Moore made each student feel incredibly special and emphasized the importance of persevering under the tutelage and care of The Highlands School.” 

To view the full collection of poems, visit: 

About The Highlands School 

The Highlands School is an AIMS-accredited school that specializes in educating students with learning differences and achievement gaps. Founded in 1996, The Highlands School was originally located in Street, Maryland. In 2007, The Highlands School moved to a beautiful 18-acre campus in Bel Air, Maryland that was once home to the Preakness-winning racehorse Deputed Testamony. 

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