Scholars Take Home Awards in Writing, Speaking, at English Expo

May 12, 2015

Culture, The Zoetics

Photos courtesy of Michelle Peterson --The first-ever ASK Academy English Expo Team, from left: Quinton Valencia, Sal Mangiacapra, Rylee Felzien, Ryan Medina, Gabi Orr, Jordan Hines, Johanna Poirier.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Peterson
–The first-ever ASK Academy English Expo Team, from left: Quinton Valencia, Sal Mangiacapra, Rylee Felzien, Ryan Medina, Gabi Orr, Jordan Hines, Johanna Poirier.

 

By Sadina Tarbox

A team of  scholars from the ASK Academy attended the 26th annual English Expo New Mexico at La Cueva High School this weekend. Eight students joined roughly four hundred others across the state to participate in two of the 24 Humanities competitions throughout the day. Typically, English Expo occurs in February, but a statewide snowstorm postponed the event until this weekend.

The competition was broken into junior and senior divisions, encompassing both middle school and high school students. Freshman Rylee Felzien took home a 4th place medal in the proofreading competition, and describes the day as “unique, and nothing like I have ever experienced before.”

In the proofreading competition, competitors were given one hundred questions in which they had one hour to correct grammar and punctuation using a Scantron sheet. Felzien’s second competition of the day was poetry writing. Competitors were allowed to write about anything they wanted, and were supplied several pieces of published poetry as inspiration. Felzien said she hoped to place in the poetry competition, but “it’s a lot more popular, so it’s a lot harder to place.”

Another Freshman, Gabriella Orr, participated in the poetry recitation and short story fantasy writing. She described the prompts given to the competitors as “obscure;” she chose a prompt involving walking through a weird neighborhood. Orr was not signed up for the poetry slam, but she volunteered to substitute for ASK senior Jordan Hines, who had advanced to the finals in his poetry division. Orr chose to recite an original poem about her personal anxiety. “I picked it because it was more powerful than my other poetry, I felt like it would have more of an impact.” While she did not place in her division,  she said she considered the overall day a learning experience.

Hines made it to finals and placed first in state in both poetry recitation and poetry writing. Other competitors to place were freshman Ryan Medina, who took home third place in Shakespearean Monologue Performance, and junior Johanna Poirier, who placed fifth in Declamation, in which she was required to recite a famous speech.

Other scholars on the team were junior Quinton Valencia, freshman Trinity Madrid, and sophomore Sal Mangiacapra. Orr commented that the best part was “the experience in general; I didn’t do very well in my competitions but I did have a lot of fun being with my friends, having them there to support me.”

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