Orangefield High School students Thanh Tsan and Chase Slaughter 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 March 12, 10 Orangefield High School students competed in the local-level contest, which was coordinated by Ron Chevalier, Orangefield High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest. Tsan won first place in Declamation with 1997 Commencement to Wellesley College by Oprah Winfrey, while Chase Slaughter won first place in Interpretive Reading with his presentation of an excerpt from The Hounds of Fate by Saki. Second place in Declamation went to Kristen Blanke, with Jeri Agee receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.

Two 2014 Stark Reading Contest County Finalists, Katy Swiere and Claire Trawhon, served as the emcees for the Orangefield competition. Deana Van Pelt, Orangefield High School Assistant 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 Orangefield 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 26, 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 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 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.

The 2015 winners of the school-level competition held March 12, at Orangefield High School are from left: Thanh Tsan, 1st place, Declamation; Kristen Blanke, 2nd place, Declamation; Chase Slaughter, 1st place, Interpretive Reading and Jeri Agee, 2nd place, Interpretive Reading.