West Orange-Stark High School students Baylee Kibodeaux and Jasmine Smith earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 115th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a scholarship program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.
On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, West Orange-Stark High School students competed in the local- level contest, which was coordinated by Mason Franco, West Orange-Stark High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest. Kibodeaux won first place in Declamation with Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust Remembrance Speech, while Smith won first place in Interpretive Reading with her presentation of Maya Angelou’s poem I shall Not be Moved. Second place in Declamation went to Darian Hardin, with Sidney Antoine receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.
Mr. Franco helped serve as the emcee for the competition and presented awards to the 2018-19 school-level contest winners. Each second-place winner was awarded $1,500 in scholarships from the Stark Foundation, while the two first-place winners were awarded $2,000 in scholarships. The first-place winners from West Orange-Stark High School will go on to compete against the first-place winners from other
participating Orange County public high schools at the County Final of the Stark Reading Contest, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lutcher Theater. The Stark Reading Contest is sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation as part of its continuing mission to enrich the quality of life in the Orange community and encourage education. The aim of the Contest is to enhance the literary and forensic quality and skills of Orange County public high school students. The Contest has continued annually since its inception in 1904, which makes the 2018-19 school year the 115th annual year of the Contest. In addition to offering educational opportunities and experiences for students at eligible Orange County public high schools, participating students may earn scholarship awards for continued education.
The 2019 winners of the school-level competition held February 5, 2019 at West Orange – Stark High School (Left to Right): Darian Hardin: 2 place, Declamation; Baylee Kibodeaux: 1 place, Declamation; Jasmine Smith: 1 place, Interpretive Reading; Sidney Antoine: 2 place, Interpretive Reading.