PAEP held the 2016 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) regional finals for Poetry Out Loud on Saturday, January 30th at the University of the Arts. Twenty-seven schools in the five-county region of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery competed at their schools selecting a winner to participate in the regional finals. This was the largest regional competition in the state. Winner, Jessica Lehman, left, represented Merion Mercy Academy, and first runner up, Shira Moolten, right, J.R. Masterman & Demonstration School, were selected from a competition that included 22 students reciting poems over the course of three rounds, and was presided over by PCA Council Member from Philadelphia, Susan Goldberg, center.
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Presenter was Susan H. Goldberg of Philadelphia, a PCA Council Member who also judged the competition along with Adelle Rubin, Director Emeritus, Drexel University Theatre Program, Department of Performing Arts; Peter Danzig, Actor and Founder, Theatrical Trainer, Inc.; and Charles Conway, Director of Education, Delaware Theatre Company. Accuracy Judge was Peter Murphy, Poet, Adjunct Professor, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and prompter was Richard Watson, Curator of Exhibits, African American Museum.
Participating students were Emily Engle, Twin Valley High School; Danny Davis, Lankenau Environmental Science High School; Shira Moolten, J.R. Masterman & Demonstration School; Annie Solley, Villa Joseph Marie High School; Hal Conte, Bucks County Technical High School; Makayla Chandler, The Christian Academy; Rachel Hughes, Penncrest High School; William Patterson, The Episcopal Academy; Amir Randall, Commonwealth Connections Academy; Jessica Lehman, Merion Mercy Academy; Kathleen Nguyen, Cheltenham High School; Jess Nichter, B. Reed Henderson High School; Shayna Katine, Bodine High School; Winter Martin, Girard Academic Music Program; Ian Stevens, Phil-Mont Christian Academy; Lucia Lavelle, William Penn Charter School; Julia Costello, Palisades High School; Sadie Furnish, Greystone Academy; Kaitlin Daugherty, Academy of Notre Dame de Namur; Sarah Chachoute, Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School; Anika Floersheim, Rustin High School; and Junius Jones, The Haverford School.