On February 23, the CJ English department conducted the fifth annual Poetry Out Loud school-wide competition. Sophomore Rachel Strahorn was declared the winner when it was all over, based on her recitation of “Flies Buzzing” by Mark Turcotte and “What Work Is” by Philip Levine.
In all, 22 classroom champions participated in the event that night, and approximately 420 students participated in the classroom competitions that preceded it. In four previous appearances, CJ school champions won the state competition twice and finished second and third on other occasions.
“The school-wide competition this year was tremendous,” said Jim Brooks, CJ English teacher and Poetry Out Loud coordinator. “The scoring was as close as it has ever been for the top positions.”
The runner-up this year was senior Sam Mullins, while juniors Kathryn Marshall and Emma Bridgman finished third and fourth respectively.
Partially in honor of previous state champions Rachel Chandler ’08 and Lynsay Strahorn ’11, the parents of those two graduates (David and Tamara Chandler, and Derrick and Kris Strahorn, pictured above) purchased and donated a beautiful wooden plaque which will now showcase the names of all CJ Poetry Out Loud school-wide champions for years to come.
The plaque will reside in the school library near the new poetry collection, a result of Rachel’s and Lynsay’s accomplishments at the state level. This special poetry collection will be dedicated later this year.
Visit www.poetryoutloud.org or www.oac.state.oh.us/events/PoetryOutLoud/default.asp for more about the national and state-wide competitions.