Tyrone Senior Advances To States in Poetry Out Loud Competition

Tyrone+Senior+Advances+To+States+in+Poetry+Out+Loud+Competition

For the second consecutive year, Tyrone senior Mario Grugan won the regional round of Poetry Out Loud and has advanced to the state level of the competition.

Last year Grugan placed fourth out of over 4,600 students from 110 schools in Pennsylvania.  This year he hopes to improve his standing and qualify for the national competition.

“Call me a nerd but certain poetry is just fun to read and express,” said Grugan. “I chose the poems I did because they are ones most people would understand because they have felt the feelings expressed in them.”

Call me a nerd but certain poetry is just fun to read and express”

— Mario Grugan

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education competition that encourages the study and appreciation of great poetry as well as the development of public speaking, acting and communication skills.

Tyrone English teacher and local Poetry Out Loud judge Jonathan Holmes stressed that the competition is “much more than just reading a poem out loud.”

“Our students were able to put themselves in the poet’s shoes and express the emotions and ideas of the poet, their perspectives on life,” said Holmes.

Competitors first had to select and memorize two poems from an extensive list and orate their poems for an audience of about thirty people for the local competition.

Competitors are judged in several categories including physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and evidence of understanding. Poems must be recited from memory and any missed words or rephrasing from the author’s original poem will result in a score deduction.

The local competition was held in person with students performing their selections live for a panel of judges, but due to COVID,  the regional, state, and national levels are virtual, with participants submitting a video recording of their performance. Grugan recorded his performances in the Eagle Eye/Channel T studio to submit to the regional and state competition.

The competition is sponsored by the Tyrone Speech Team and advised by paraprofessional Gabby McLarren and former Tyrone English teacher Leah Descovich.

Our students were able to put themselves in the poet’s shoes and express the emotions and ideas of the poet, their perspectives on life”

— Competition Judge Jonathan Holmes

Tyrone had four entries into the competition this year. In addition to Grugan, sophomores Alysa Wheland and Bryanna Britten, and junior Laci Daniel entered the contest.

For the regional contest, Grugan memorized and orated three poems and submitted videos of his orations for the regional and state competitions.

The 2022 Poetry Out Loud state champion will be announced live online on March 14.

“I’m confident that Mario will do well at states, and crossing my fingers that we’ll see him the national competition,” said Holmes.