Orangefield High School students Claire Trawhon and Katy Swiere earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 110th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a scholarship program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.

On Thursday, Feb. 27, 10 Orangefield High School students competed in the local-level contest coordinated by Ron Chevalier, Orangefield High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest. Trawhon won first place in Declamation with Acceptance of Democratic Vice Presidential Nomination by Geraldine Ferraro, while Swiere won first place in Interpretive Reading with her presentation of Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield. Second place in Declamation went to Bailey Berry, with Kaitlyn Burke receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.

Stark Reading Contest County 2013 Finalist, Carrie Grace Henderson, served as the emcee for the Orangefield competition. Deena VanPelt, Assistant Principal of Orangefield High School, presented awards to the 2013-14 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 Orangefield High School will go on to compete against the first-place winners from other participating Orange County high schools at the County Final of the Stark Reading Contest, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 27, at 2:00 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 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 2013-14 school year the 110th 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.

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