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Poetry Out Loud Contest judges recitation skills

Jeremy Kaoga, Reporter

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The region 7 Poetry Out Loud contest was held at the Olathe South Media Center at 10 a.m. on Feb. 3.

After two rounds, first place was awarded to Bella L’Heureux, who recited “The Good Morrow” by John Donne and “Ways of Talking” by Ha Jin, while second place was awarded to Tess McChesney.

“I would have hated to be a judge,” Cynthia Roth, the regional coordinator, stated, “[The] competition was fierce.”

Competitors were judged by their interpretation of the poem, emotion and vocal expression, and their accuracy in reciting the poem.

L’Heurux will advance to the state competition, giving her a chance at the national competition.

Out of the five students who were to be at the competition, four were able to compete. Caroline Harshbarger from Olathe South High School, L’Heureux from Blue Valley High School, McChesney from Blue Valley West High School and Belaye Turner from Shawnee Mission West High School.

The judges over seeing the competitions were Laura Lorson, a public radio producer and host, Regina Sirois, an author, and Kate McNair, managing editor of Elementia. The accuracy judge and prompter was Deirdre Zongker, an Olathe North English teacher.

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Poetry Out Loud Contest judges recitation skills