The Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation congratulates the students of Orangefield High School, which participated in the Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation on Thursday, Feb. 21. The local level contest took place at the Orangefield Elementary Auditorium.

The program began with a welcome address by the Stark Reading Contest interpretive reading winner for 2012, Kirsten Wolfford, followed by presentations in declamation, a musical interlude by Orangefield High School band students, presentations in interpretive reading and a final musical performance before the awards presentation.

In declamation, Carrie Grace Henderson took first place with Whisper of AIDS by Mary Fisher, and in interpretive reading, Kathryn Petry won first place with her interpretation of a selection from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Second place went to Kaitlyn Burke and Bailey Berry in declamation and interpretive reading, respectively, and they received $1,500 in scholarships.

All participating students received recognition for competing in the contest from Orangefield High School Assistant Principal Deena VanPelt. The two first place winners, Henderson and Petry received $2,000 in scholarships and will go on to compete in the County Final contest at the Lutcher Theater at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 21.

The aim of the Stark Reading Contest is to enhance the literary and forensic quality and skills of the students. The Contest has continued annually since its inception in 1904 and offers educational opportunities and experiences for students at Orange County public schools. The Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation is sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation as part of its continuing mission to enrich the community and encourage education.