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Congratulations to Ava Beringer from Masconomet Regional High School
Masconomet Regional High School junior Ava Beringer was named the 2022 Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts State Champion on March 13, 2022.
In a virtual contest, Beringer bested nine other finalists to earn the top honor. Placing second was Lauren Lima, a junior from Dartmouth High School in Dartmouth, followed by Irianny Solorin, the who is a senior at Methuen High School.
Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national recitation contest for high school students that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students’ literary heritage. The Huntington’s Education Department has facilitated the Massachusetts chapter of this national recitation contest in partnership with Mass Cultural Council since its inception 17 years ago and has ranked nationally in participation statistics for 11 years in a row. The program is facilitated nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. POL is in all 50 states, DC, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.
In a typical year, after high schools hold their own contests, the Huntington hosts five regional semi-final contests in Boston, Cape Cod, Hopkinton, Newburyport, and Springfield, and then a state final at the Old Meeting House in Boston, but the contest was entirely virtual this year due to the ongoing pandemic. For the second year, any cultural organization was invited to participate and run their own POL program, and individual students were able to participate if their school was not going to register. POL Massachusetts welcomed a program at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Rollicking Productions LLC, and nine students in our Individual Cohort. A full list of this year’s participating schools is below.
“Poetry Out Loud is an inspiring program,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “It provides a remarkable opportunity for the young people in our Commonwealth to express their talents and creativity, while celebrating the power and diversity of the spoken word. This year’s contest was unlike any other, and we thank our partner the Huntington Theatre Company for navigating the logistics and bringing Poetry Out Loud into the lives of so many young people.”
“Poetry Out Loud was especially moving this year,” said Meg O’Brien, Huntington’s Director of Education, “in the ways our contestants worked with their respective teachers and POL Coordinators to digitally record their recitations, submit those recitations to us earlier than ever before, and make the most of this year’s virtual program. I congratulate all the students who participated this year and am deeply proud of the entire Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts community of contestants, teachers, coordinators, families, adjudicators, and staff.”
In all, 14,391 students, 339 teachers/staff, 47 schools, and two cultural organizations participated in Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts in 2022 (full list of schools is below). The nine finalists were the top scoring contestants from three regional semi-final contests shared virtually on March 12, 2022. The digital program is available online.
As 2022 Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts State Champion, Ava Beringer will now compete for the National Championship. The Nationals will also be virtual with Regional Semi-Finals shared digitally on May 1 and the National Finals shared on June 5, 2022. All national-level events will be streamed at the National Endowment for the Arts website.
The adjudicators for the Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts State Finals included Porsha Olayiwola, Boston’s Poet Laureate, actor and educator Dylan C. Wack, poet and educator Heather Hughes, and Cookie Gamble, multi-hyphenate artist and teen director for YMCA Greater Boston, and Danielle Jones, Program Manager at Mass Poetry, as accuracy judge.
Agawam Senior High School, Agawam
Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough
Avon Middle High School, Avon
Barnstable High School, Barnstable
Boston Latin School, Boston
Brockton High School, Brockton
Burlington High School, Burlington
CATS Academy Boston, Braintree
Codman Academy Charter Public School, Dorchester
Commonwealth School, Boston
Dartmouth High School, Dartmouth
Dennis Yarmouth High School, South Yarmouth
Dexter Southfield School, Brookline
Dracut High School, Dracut
Foxborough Regional Charter School, Foxborough
Framingham High School, Framingham
Groton Dunstable Regional High School, Groton
Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Hopkinton
Hull High School, Hull
Huntington Therapeutic Day School, Brockton
John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Roxbury
Leominster High School, Leominster
Longmeadow High School, Longmeadow
Malden High School, Malden
Masconomet Regional High School, Boxford
Melrose High School, Melrose
Meridian Academy, Jamaica Plain
Methuen High School, Methuen
Montrose School, Medfield
Mt. Everett Regional High School, Sheffield
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, Malden
Nantucket High School, Nantucket
Newburyport High School, Newburyport
Norwell High School, Norwell
Pelham Academy, Lexington
Plymouth South High School, Plymouth
Rockland High School, Rockland
Rollicking Productions, LLC, Rye NH
Salem Academy Charter School, Salem
Salem High School, Salem
Sandwich High School/STEM Academy, Sandwich
South Hadley High School, South Hadley
South Shore Charter Public School, Norwell
St. Sebastian’s School, Needham
Sutton Memorial High School, Sutton
Whitman Hanson Regional High School, Whitman
Worcester Technical High School, Worcester