Michael F. Devine, Superintendent
180 Harborview Road
Hull, MA 02045
For Immediate Release
Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Hull High School Students Compete in Poetry Out Loud Competition
HULL — From the likes of D.H. Lawrence to the work of John McCrae, some of poetry’s all-time greats were represented this year at Hull High School’s annual Poetry Out Loud competition.
On Jan. 31, students gathered in the auditorium for the one-of-a-kind competition. Students from five different English classes first participated in an initial round of Poetry Out Loud, and teachers graded performances with the nationwide POL rubric. The top seven students were asked to compete in front of the school.
Poetry Out Loud is a national organization funded by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. It encourages students to learn about poetry, refine their public speaking skills, build their self-confidence and enhance their understanding of literary history and contemporary life.
Sophomore Rebecca Rosenbaum, who recited “America I Sing You Back,” junior Olivia Whitman, who read “I Sit and I Sew,” and sophomore Luke Robbs, who performed “In Flanders Fields,” placed first, second and third, respectively.
In addition to Rosenbaum, Whitman and Robbs, the program also featured performances from sophomores Olivia Rys (“Bleeding Heart”) and Haven Veaguas (“Piano”), and juniors Marcus Kurviciez (“Where the Wild Things Go”) and Benjamin Fenelon (“Kubla Khan”).
Junior Kyle Miller emceed the assembly, giving a bit of background information on each of the student’s performances, while senior Melanie Jenkins prompted the speakers.
Faculty members Jon Ridolfi, Amanda Davis, Paula Girouard-McCann, Brian Mullin, Jean Mazzilli, Cooper Marshall and Karissa Connors served as judges for the event. Participants were scored on their physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy.
As the first-place winner, Rosenbaum will represent HHS at the Southeast Regional Semifinal of the Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud competition, which will be held at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth on March 4. Rosenbaum will compete against winners from other high schools in the area for a chance to move onto the Massachusetts State Finals in Boston this spring.
“We’re incredibly proud of all of the students who participated in this year’s competition,” Principal Paula Girouard McCann said. “It takes a lot of courage to get on stage and speak in front of the entire school, so I commend them for having the confidence and poise to do so. We’re excited for Rebecca and wish her the best of luck as she heads to the regional competition this spring!”
Winners from each state will win a cash prize of $200 and a trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the national competition from April 23-25 at George Washington University. The state champion’s school will also receive $500 to support the expansion of its poetry collection.
Poetry Out Loud is made possible by funding from the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information click here.