Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School students Spencer Johns and Vincent Hale earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 111th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a scholarship program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.

On Sunday, March 1, 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. Johns won first place in Declamation with Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, while Hale won first place in Interpretive Reading with his presentation of The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. Second place in Declamation went to Aaron Rose, with Connor Alexander receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.

Alexander Borel, 2014 Stark Reading County Finalist in Interpretive Reading, served as the emcee for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville competition. Dr. Terri Estes, Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School principal, presented awards to the 2014-15 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 high schools at the County Final of the Stark Reading Contest, which is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 6:00 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 2014-15 school year the 111th 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.

Photo – The 2015 winners of the school-level competition held March 1, 2015 at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School (Left to Right): Connor Alexander: 2nd place, Interpretive Reading; 1st place Vincent Hale, Interpretive Reading; Spencer Johns: 1st place, Declamation; Aaron Rose: 2nd place, Declamation.