High School Students Compete for Seat at State Championship

On Monday, February 2, 2015, Springboard hosted the St. Louis Regional Competition of Poetry Out Loud. Now in its tenth year, Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition open to high school students in all fifty states. More than 70 guests were on hand enjoying the local event.

Five St. Louis students advanced to the St. Louis Regional Competition after winning competitions at their schools. The contestants were:

Rita Chang – Metro Academic and Classical High School

Kaitlyn Davis – McKinley High School

Thomas Hogan – St. Louis University High School

Otis Woodard – Central Visual and Performing Arts High School

Eliana Zuckerman – Crossroads College Preparatory School

Each contestant memorized and delivered three poems chosen from a specified list. Judges scored the students on physical presence, articulation, level of complexity and more. Volunteering their time, the three guest judges were: Scott Berzon, Lindenwood University professor; Susan Grigsby, local poet, author and educator; and Justin McCain, spoken word performer and teen mentor. Local poet and speaker Debora Grandison coordinated the program for Springboard and handled the Mistress of Ceremonies duties.

Each student performed articulately and passionately, and the competition was fierce. With just a razor-thin margin, Kaitlyn Davis of McKinley High School emerged as the winner! Ms. Davis moves on to the State competition in Jefferson City on March 12, and potentially to the national championship in Washington, D.C. April 27-29. Congratulations to all participants and good luck in Jeff City, Kaitlyn!!

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