Competitors and stage set for Stark Reading Contest County Final

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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Final competitions of the 119th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, have been held at numerous Orange County high schools during the past five weeks.

They include Bridge City, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Orangefield, Vidor and West Orange-Stark.

Between preliminary and local final rounds, 100 students competed across the five schools. Winners advance to the County Final round of the competition.

“We know that a great deal of effort goes into preparing and presenting these selections, and we are extremely proud of all contestants who competed in this year’s contest,” said Hannah Danielson, The W.H. Stark House director of education.

Each second place winner in the categories of Declamation and Interpretive Reading were 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 each high school go on to compete at the County Final of the Stark Reading Contest, which is scheduled April 23 at 2 p.m. at the Lutcher Theater.

Finalists will compete for additional scholarships worth $2,500 and $5,000.

“We look forward to the advanced level of competition that takes place every year at the County Final and invite the community to come out and show their support for our local students,” Danielson said.

Each local final competition was coordinated by the school’s director for the Stark Reading Contest: Melanie Claybar (LCM), Ron Chevalier (OHS), Stacy Webb (Vidor), Mason Franco (WOS) and Hannah Landry (BCHS).

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 2022–23 school year the 119th annual year of the contest.