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SHS Junior- Thomas Bosmeniel Wins Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest to Represent Seward High at Regional Contest

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Seward High Junior, Thomas Bosmeniel, captured the local Poetry Out Loud poetry recitation contest First Place award reciting from memory the poem “Battle Hymn” by Julia Ward Howe.  He won over 46 other students to now represent SHS at the state regional contest in February in Kearney at the Museum of Art.  The first runner-up in the contest was Ryan Wall, SHS Sophomore with the poem “300 Goats” by Naomi Shihab Nye, Second Runner-Up was awarded to Tayor Brodecky with her presentation “Testimonial” by Rita Dove.  First place-Outstanding Freshman presenter was awarded to Madalyn Lobmeyer-“Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser , First Place in Sophomores was presented to Abigail Bales with “Pippi Longstocking” by Sandra Simonds, First Place of the Juniors was presented to Katryna Rukas with her presentation “”And Soul” by Evan Boland, and First Place for Seniors went to Andrew Pavel with his presentation “So This Is Nebraska” by Ted Kooser.  The contest was held at the SHS new theater on Monday evening, December 5 at 7:00 pm and was sponsored locally by the Seward Arts Council and School District of Seward High Ability Learner Program (HAL).  The winners all received engraved medals and blue and gold neck ribbons, donated by the Seward Arts Council 

The students each selected their own poem to memorize from the 800 offered on the website of Poetry Out Loud.  The contest is sponsored and funded by the National Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts on the national level and the Nebraska Arts Council on the state level-under the coordination of Anne Alston.  Locally, Clark Kolterman serves as the coordinator and teacher sponsor for the event.  Aclaimed actress and author, Pippa White of the Nebraska Arts Council served as the visiting artist for the Seward Schools to assist and prepare the students for the contest.

The students were required to memorize their poem and present it to the audience using a microphone and a spot light on the main stage in the new theater.  Teacher and sponsor Clark Kolterman served as the Emcee, assisted by Riley Nuttleman with the lighting and as the ballot runner.  Mrs. Pam Franck and Mrs. Kyle Hinkle served as the official tab room coordinators. 

Judges for the event were Melissa Pohl, new Freshman English Instructor at Seward High School, Nancy Schulz-East Butler High School, Sue Imig- retired educator of the Seward School District and Concordia University Sophomore from Bay City, Michigan-Josiah Schultz, an English, Director of Christian Education and Theology Major.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation program, sponsored by the National Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts-featuring scholarships on the state and national levels, along with trips to Washington, DC for each state representative.  One student will be selected this evening to represent Seward High at the regional contests in the spring, where they will present two poems of choice from the 800+poems on the Poetry Out Loud website at a regional at Kearney, Norfolk or Omaha, and hopefully qualify for the State Contest in March in Lincoln!

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Contestants participating in the contest included……

  1. Mitchell Hochstein- “El Dorado”- Edgar Allen Poe
  2. Mikayla Rudebusch- “The Art Room”- Shara McCallum
  3. Rannon Borges-Lyons- “Across The Bay”- Donald Davie
  4. Joelle Dieckhoff- “Keeping Things Whole”- Mark Strand
  5. Kylyn Clawson- “Katrina”- Patricia Smith
  6. Jacobi King- “Choices”- Tess Gallagher
  7. Janel Robertson- “Yellowtail”- Mary Morris
  8. Madison Geidel- “The Day”- Geoffrey Brock
  9. Lindsay Flesner- “Then and Now”- Tom Clark
  10. Garrett Kuss- “Arrow and the Song”- Henry Longfellow
  11. Jax Johnson- “Analysis of Baseball”- May Swenson
  12. Caleb Meyer- “Fire and Ice”- Robert Frost
  13. Zandra Miller- “The Affliction of Richard”- Robert Bridges
  14. Kiernan Baker- “Battlefield”- Mark Turcotte
  15. Sydney Erickson- “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”- Robert Frost
  16. Vicki Radke- “Rain”- Kazim Ali
  17. Abigail Bales- “Pippi Longstocking”- Sandra Simonds
  18. Cody Fry- “Danse Russe”- William Carlos Williams
  19. Andrew Pavel- “So This is Nebraska”- Ted Kooser
  20. Brogan Fehlhafer- “Oh Artic God”- Lucille Clifton
  21. Peyton Davis Schmit- “Entirely”- Louis MacNiece
  22. Macie Spotanski- “Makin’ Jump Shots”- Michael S. Harper
  23. Jacob Spidell- “Catch a Little Rhyme”- Eve Merriam
  24. Jack Yelden- “300 Goats”- Naomi Shihab Nye
  25. Cayden Glandt- “I Hear America Singing”- Walt Whitman
  26. Max Peery- “Across The Bay”- Donald Davie
  27. Sam Briggs- “History”- Camille Rankine
  28. Chase Prochnow- “End of the World”- Dana Gioia
  29. Katryna Rukas- “And Soul”- Evan Boland
  30. John Hurley- “In the Desert”- Stephen Crane
  31. Amanda Jensen- “Mrs. Adam”- Kathleen Norris
  32. Destiny Fuentes-“Inhospitible” –Emily Perez
  33. Nana Abenaa Wright- “BLK History Month”- Nikki Giovanni
  34. Dylan Pool-Haussler- “Barber”- Larry Bradley
  35. Kiona Coe- “Life in Love”- Robert Browning
  36. Kaleb Wunderlich- “They Flee From Me”- Thomas Wyatt
  37. Rachel Sierra- “Catch a Little Rhyme”- Eve Merriam
  38. Ryan Wall- “300 Goats”- Naomi Shihab Nye
  39. Brady Smith-“Fire and Ice”-Robert Frost
  40. Madalyn Lobmeyer-“Abandoned Farmhouse” –Ted Kooser
  41. Tirey Bearup-“Lazy”-David Yezzi
  42. Taylor Brodecky-“Testimonial”-Rita Dove
  43. John Myers- “In Flander’s Fields”- John Macrae
  44. Gillian Daniel-“April Love”-Ernest Dowson
  45. Bailey Mooney-“The Otherside of this World”-Calvin Fobres
  46. Grace Orwen-“American Smooth” Rita Dove
  47. Thomas Bosmeniel- “Battle Hymn”- Julia Ward Howe


Thomas Bosmeniel will now represent Seward High at the Poetry Out Loud Regional Contest and is required to present two poetry selections. From the regional event, the top third of the entries are selected to compete at the State Contest for Poetry Out Loud in Lincoln in March at the Sheldon Art Gallery.