Orangefield High School students Amber Martinez and Shelby Vogt earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 116th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a scholarship program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, Orangefield High School students competed in the local-level contest, which was coordinated by Ronald Chevalier, Orangefield High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest. Martinez won first place in Declamation with Anne Lamott’s 2003 Commencement Speech at UC Berkeley, while Vogt won first place in Interpretive Reading with selections from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsby J.K. Rowling. Second place in Declamation went to Mary Wernig, with Sarah Morrison receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.
Former Orangefield student and 2018 – 2019 SRC County Final winner Whitley Hoyland served as the emcee for the competition and principal Zach Quinn presented awards to the 2019-20 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 Orangefield 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 26, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
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 2019-20 school year the 116th 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 2020 winners of the school-level competition held February 13, 2020 at Orangefield High School (Left to Right): Mary Wernig: 2nd place, Declamation; Amber Martinez: 1st place, Declamation; Shelby Vogt: 1st place, Interpretive Reading; Sarah Morrison: 2nd place, Interpretive Reading.