(ORANGE, Texas) – Little Cypress – Mauriceville High School students Darby Watson and Jordan Alexander earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 115th 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 3, 2019, LCM High School students competed in the local-level contest, which was coordinated by Melanie Claybar, LCM High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest.Watson won first place in Declamation with Ursula LeGuin’s A Left-Handed Commencement Speech, while Alexander won first place in Interpretive Reading with his presentation of “The Tell – Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. Second place in Declamation went to Ashlyn Ellis, with Jadyn Stack receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.
LCM Stark Reading Contest Alternate, McKenzie Freeman, served as the emcee for the competition and Claybar presented awards to the 2018-19 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 LCM 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 28, 2019 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 2018-19 school year the 115thannual 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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