Jenna Vespi and Mia Potamianos

Editors of Promotion


Every year, Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s English Department promotes the opportunity for students to compete in Poetry Out Loud, as well as in the Shakespeare Monologue Competition. Fortunately, this year J-DHS thrived in both competitions, thanks to star sophomore Sofia Liaw.

On Friday, March 10, Liaw competed in Poetry Out Loud at the Everson Museum in Downtown Syracuse. After previously placing second in the regional competition, Liaw took on the state competition where she competed among 24 other students. Liaw competed in the first and second rounds and then was asked, along with seven others, to advance to the third round of competition. Unfortunately, she did not place in the top two, the only places awarded.  “We’ve never had a student go that far before, and she did well.” said English teacher Matthew Phillips. Liaw plans to compete again next year and is more confident now that she knows the basics of the competition. “Now I kind of know what types of poems they’re looking for and what types of performances.” Knowing the contrast that judges are looking for in performers will help Liaw prepare and plan for next year.

Poetry Out Loud ended for Liaw around 4:30 p.m. and from there she went straight home to rest up for her next endeavor. The Shakespeare Monologue Competition took place the following morning, on March 1. Liaw competed as an alternate to fill in for a fellow J-DHS student, junior Rebecca Teitelbaum, who couldn’t make it to the event because she had previously committed to participated to competing for states for Science Olympiad. Liaw found out she would be competing in place of Teitelbaum the week before the competition. Liaw said that if she had had more time, she could have been more prepared. However Liaw rose above this challenge and still managed to earn an Honorable Mention, placing her in the top 6. “Now that I know what (the judges) are looking for, I know how to contrast the sonnet and the monologue,” said Liaw as she looks ahead to next year.

With Liaw’s great success in both programs, she hopes to use all that she learned from this weekend of experiences to compete again next year and be as successful, or hopefully more successful, than she was this year.

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