Cutline: West Orange-Stark students Ryan Ragsdale, left, E’Laziah Nickerson, Wyndie Williams and Essence Landry hold their trophies from Thursday’s Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation. Nickerson and Williams won $2,000 scholarships and a spot in the April 23 County Finals at Lutcher Theater. Ragsdale and Landry won $1,500 scholarships.

Dave Rogers

For The Record

Nickerson, Williams represent WOS in Stark reading

West Orange-Stark High School students E’Laziah Nickerson and Wyndie Williams earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 113th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation held Thursday March 9.

The event for West Orange-Stark High School students, a scholarship program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, was coordinated by Jennifer Clarke, West Orange-Stark High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest.

Nickerson won first place in Declamation with “Women’s Rights” by Hillary Clinton, while Williams won first place in Interpretive Reading with her presentation of an excerpt from “Singing Lessons” by Katherine Mansfield.

Second place in Declamation went to Ryan Ragsdale, with Essence Landry receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.

Gregory D. Anderson Jr., a 1987 Stark Reading Contest winner from West Orange-Stark High School, served as the emcee for the Bridge City competition. Angela Greer, Dean of Instruction at West Orange-Stark High School, presented awards to the 2016-17 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 West Orange-Stark 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 23 at 2 p.m. at the Lutcher Theater.

The Stark Foundation mission includes enriching the literary and forensic quality and skills of Orange County public high school students. The Reading Contest has been held since 1904.