LVHS student Kailee Behunin is runner up in Wyoming’s 2018 Poetry Out Loud State Competition
Wyoming’s 13th Annual Poetry Out Loud State Competition took place Monday night in Cheyenne. High school students from across the state competed for a $200 prize, a $500 stipend for their school to purchase poetry books, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete at the National Finals.
Lauren Haiar of Sundance Secondary School became Wyoming’s 2018 State Champion. State Runner-up was Kailee Behunin, Lander Valley High School, and third place went to Georgia Wages, Buffalo High School. Mataya Sipe, Kaycee High School; Chase Marple, Western Heritage Lutheran Academy in Rivertson; Charles David Dechert, Fremont County Homeschool Group; Rachael Carver, Worland High School; and J.D. Whisler, Moorcroft High School all took home honorable mentions.
Judging criteria included physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. Judges were Colorado poet Adrian Molina, Wyoming poet Matt Daly, Wyoming’s Poet Laureate Eugene Gagliano, and University of Wyoming student and past Poetry Out Loud State Champion Sara Ellingrod. On Tuesday, following a morning of poetry workshops for the participants and chaperones, State Treasurer Mark Gordon announced the results at an awards ceremony held in the lobby of the Barrett Building.
Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Developed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a free contest for high-school students (grades 9-12) in both public and private schools. It serves every state and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The Wyoming Arts Council is proud to support and administer this program in the Cowboy State.
Participating schools included Sundance Secondary School, Lander Valley High School, Buffalo High School, Kaycee High School, Western Heritage Lutheran Academy, Fremont County Homeschool Group, Worland High School, and Moorcroft High School.