Wintry weather did not deter intrepid Vermont high school students from participating in the Vermont 2018 Poetry Out Loud Semifinals and Finals held this week. On Monday, 33 students gathered at the Barre Opera House to compete in the Semifinals. Ten finalists were selected by a panel of experts to continue to the Finals held last night at the Elley-Long Music Center in Colchester. Vermont Poetry Out Loud partner VermontPBS live-streamed the Finals and will broadcast the event on March 29.
The ten finalists were: (Top L to R)
(Arlington Memorial High School),
(Woodstock Union High School),
(Burr and Burton Academy),
(Mt. Abraham Union High School). (Bottom L to R)
(South Burlington High School),
(Bellows Free Academy Fairfax),
(Burlington High School)
, Sadie Chamberlain
||Vera Escaja-Heiss (L) and Alyese Caruso-Randall (R).
After an evening filled with stellar recitations and a challenging task for judges, Vera Escaja-Heiss was named Vermont state champion. Vera will travel to Washington, D.C. on April 23 to represent Vermont in the National Poetry Out Loud competition. The runner up was Alyese Caruso-Randall. Both contestants will receive cash awards and their schools will receive funds to purchase poetry books.
The 2018 Vermont Poetry Out Loud program would not be possible without the 140 teachers who inspired more than 5,200 high school students to engage with words, connect with poetry, and develop skills to carry them through college, career, and life. Congratulations to all. Well done!