Vidor High School students Maryn Chilton and Savannah Young 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 6, 2020, Vidor High School students competed in the local-level contest, which was coordinated by Adam Conrad, Vidor High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest. Chilton won first place in Declamation with the 2009 Inaugural Address by Barack Obama, while Young won first place in Interpretive Reading with her presentation of an excerpt from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. Second place in Declamation went to Emily Simmons, with Ella Bunting receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.
Vidor student and former Contest winner Johnny Hall served as the emcee, with students Jamey Flores, Haley Nelson, and Thomas and Emma Moore performing musical interludes for the competition. Mr. Conrad 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 Vidor 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. 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 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 6, 2020 at Vidor High School (Left to Right): Emily Simmons: 2nd place, Declamation; Maryn Chilton: 1st place, Declamation; Savannah Young: 1st place, Interpretive Reading; Ella Bunting: 2nd place, Interpretive Reading