Stark Reading Contest winners at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School

Jordan Alexander, Samuel Ridout, Dalton Teeler and Spencer Johns

Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School students Samuel Ridout and Dalton Teeler earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 114th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a scholarship program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.

March 4, Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School students competed in the local-level contest, which was coordinated by Melanie Claybar, Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest. Ridout won first place in Declamation with Angelina Jolie’s 2009 World Refugee Day Speech, while Teeler won first place in Interpretive Reading with his presentation of Neil Hilborn’s poem OCD. Second place in Declamation went to Jordan Alexander, with Spencer Johns receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.

Stark Reading Contest 2018 preliminary participants Reagan Hambrick and Kalan Bonnette served as the emcees for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville competition. Todd Loupe, Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School Principal, presented awards to the 2017-18 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 Little Cypress-Mauriceville 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 29, 2018 at 2 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 2017-18 school year the 114th 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 Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation is a private operating foundation established in 1961 to encourage and assist education and to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas.

The Stark Foundation seeks to continue the legacy of its founders through the programs of: the Stark Museum of Art, the W.H. Stark House, the Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, and Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, as well as the Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a qualified scholarship program for public high school students in Orange County, Texas. Programming is designed to create, and build upon, an appreciation within the community for the fine arts, Stark family history, the performing arts, environmental stewardship, and public speaking.

These venues, programs and activities provide the community and region with rich resources and opportunities for study and enjoyment of the arts, history and nature.

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