On Friday, January 11, 2019, Toms River North held its first New Jersey Poetry Out Loud schoolwide contest. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation program for students in grades 9-12.
In New Jersey, Poetry Out Loud is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, in collaboration with Writers Theatre of New Jersey, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, and a growing list of local partners.
Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Awards are given out at the regional/state level competitions and at the national finals.
Toms River High School North’s 14 contestants from grades 9-12 were: Michael Indovina, Anna De Angelis, Moujan Moghimi, Trinity McNary, Zuleika Rodriguez, Olivia Marino, Matthew Spalletta, Jade Sarabia, Niziere Clarke, Osman Shah, Mahamede Diawara, Luciana Collina, Matt Hirtes, and Samantha Duncsak.
The judges, Principal Ed Keller, Assistant Principal Kevin Raylman, Mrs. Veronica Maier, and English Supervisor Tonya Rivera, determined Toms River North’s school champion to be senior, Samantha Duncsak.
Miss Duncsak, the editor of North’s poetry magazine Polaris, will work together with Ms. Stephanie Reid, lead teacher and contest coordinator, to prepare for the regional contest on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at the Count Basie Theater.