West Orange-Stark High School students E'Laziah Nickerson and Wyndie Williams earned first place in Declamation and Interpretive Reading, respectively, at the school-level finals of the 113th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest in Reading and Declamation, a scholarship program sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.
On Thursday, March 9, 2017, West Orange-Stark High School students competed in the local- level contest, which was coordinated by Jennifer Clarke, West Orange-Stark High School teacher and school director for the Stark Reading Contest. E'Laziah Nickerson won first place in Declamation with Women's Rights by Hillary Clinton, while Williams won first place in Interpretive Reading with her presentation of an excerpt from Singing Lesson by Katherine Mansfield. Second place in Declamation went to Ryan Ragsdale, with Essence Landry receiving second-place honors in Interpretive Reading.
Gregory D. Anderson Jr., a 1987 Stark Reading Contest winner from West Orange-Stark High School served as the emcee for the competition. Angela Greer, Dean of Instruction at West Orange-Stark High School, presented awards to the 2016-17 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 Bridge City 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 23, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lutcher Theater.