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The aim of Poetry Out Loud is to encourage the study and appreciation of great poetry. Students engaged in the program not only learn about their literary heritage but also build self-confidence through mastering public speaking skills. Now in its twelfth year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud has inspired millions of high school students to discover the beauty and brilliance of the literary canon.

More than 310,000 students from 2,300 high schools took part in the 2016–2017 Poetry Out Loud program.

2018 El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud Finals Announced

Friday, February 9, at 7 pm

Imagination Theater, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville CA

Awards

On Friday, February 9, 2018, six El Dorado County high school students converged on the Imagination Theater stage to compete for the title of El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud Champion. In the end, only one would move on to the State Finals in March to compete for the title of California State Champion. The house was full of friends, family, and poetry enthusiasts from all over El Dorado County who were anticipating an evening filled with the power of poetry. A guest panel of judges had trained, studied the poetry selections, and diligently prepared for this evening’s recitations. Each contestant would be evaluated based on several facets of their recitation including dramatic appropriateness, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, and accuracy. Sometimes a winning recitation is arrived at based on a miniscule difference in points. After each recitation was delivered and the judges took time to score and tabulate the final results, Julian Sharwarko entertained the audience with classical guitar. 

2018 Poetry Out Loud Photography by Mark Tart

First Place, Jordan Soto, Charter University Prep
First Place, Jordan Soto, Charter University Prep
Second Place, Sarah Allen,  El Dorado High School
Second Place, Sarah Allen, El Dorado High School
Third Place,  Kaitlyn Stahl, Ponderosa High School
Third Place, Kaitlyn Stahl, Ponderosa High School
Charis Gruber, Independence High School
Charis Gruber, Independence High School
Jana Hudak, Union Mine High School
Jana Hudak, Union Mine High School
Emma Rose Forbes, Oak Ridge High School
Emma Rose Forbes, Oak Ridge High School
Awards Waiting on Winners
Awards Waiting on Winners
Contestants Await Results
Contestants Await Results
Mark Coovelis Honored
Mark Coovelis Honored
Julian Sharwarko Entertains
Julian Sharwarko Entertains

 

The results were  scored, tabulated and agreed upon by the judging panel and the winning names were given to Master of Ceremonies Andrew Vonderschmitt, the Arts Council’s program manager, who announced the winners. Third place went to Kaitlyn Stahl of Ponderosa High School, second place was awarded to Sarah Allen of El Dorado High School, and first place went to Jordan Soto of Charter University Prep, who will don the title of 2018 El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud Champion. The crowd responded with uproarious applause as the trophies were handed out and the winners lined up for photographs.

Jordan Soto will compete against students from all participating California counties in Sacramento on March 18 and 19, 2018.

Round One of the State Competition will begin at 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 18, on stage at the Crest Theatre at 1013 K Street in Sacramento, and rounds Two and Three will begin at 8:30 AM on Monday, March 19, in the Assembly Chamber of the State Capitol at 10th and L Streets in Sacramento. Both competitions are open to the public.

 

The Arts Council assembled and trained a panel of luminary judges for the 2018 County Finals. These notable individuals were chosen for their unique qualifications, passion for the written word, and a drive to support this important program: 

Jeanne Amos, Library Director, El Dorado County Library

Lester Brown, Vice President, El Dorado Arts Council

Mimi Escabar, Lifestyle Editor, Mountain Democrat

Tina Ferguson, Owner, Face in a Book

Joshua Fernandez, English Professor, Folsom Lake College

Taylor Graham, El Dorado County Poet Laureate

Terry LeMoncheck, Executive Director, El Dorado Arts Council

Jayne Moore, Senior Vice President, El Dorado Savings Bank

Beverly Schwarzberg, Senior Vice President, El Dorado Savings Bank

Wendy Thomas, Placerville City Mayor

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2017 El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud

El Dorado County Champion, Zoey Eddy from Oak Ridge High School

Eddy went on to compete in the State Finals in Sacramento March 13 and 14, 2017

Photography by Karen Schmauz

L-R: Third Place, Alessandra Jester from Charter University Prep; First Place, Zoey Eddy from Oak Ridge High School; Second Place, Anna Salvestrin from Union Mine High School

Photography by Karen Schmauz

L-R: Olivia Robertson, Golden Sierra High School; Kaitlyn Stahl, Ponderosa High School; Anna Salvestrin, Union Mine High School; Kassidy Brown, El Dorado High School; Alessandra Jester, Charter University Prep; Zoey Eddy, Oak Ridge High School; Jesus Jimenez, Independence High School

Photography by Karen Schmauz

Jack Carman from Independence High School was honored during the County Finals as the first recipient of the Poetry Out Loud Outstanding Teacher Award. He was chosen by the Arts Council for inspiring creativity and fostering a deeper understanding of literature and poetry.

Photography by Karen Schmauz