Students to compete in county finals of Stark Reading Contest


Kaila Low

Kori Rushing and Jonathan Roy will compete in the Stark Reading Contest County Finals on April 25.

Kaila Low, Managing Editor

Junior Kori Rushing and senior Jonathan Roy competed in the Stark Reading Contest on March 10, placing first in the school finals in their respective events. Rushing read an excerpt from “The Song of Solomon” by Toni Morison for the Interpretive Reading portion of the contest.

“There is a great excerpt in it about worth and not placing it in other people,” Rushing said. “It touched me and I wanted to share it.”

To prepare for the county finals later in the month, she reads the piece every day and performs it at least three times a week. Placing first allowed Rushing to earn a $2,000 scholarship. According to Rushing, she has big aspirations for college and the scholarship money earned from the contest will help her greatly.

“Any and all scholarships help fund my future schooling as I can rely on them for tuition,” Rushing said. “It also gives me hope that I can perform well in school and reach my goals.”

Roy placed first in the Declamation portion of the contest with his reading of “Plea to the Court” by Eugene Debs. According to Roy, Debs is an inspirational figure for him.

“The contest has given me confidence in my ability as a speaker,” Roy said. “Seeing a speech go from a mess words to an inspirational work of art is rewarding.”

Roy compares Debs to Socrates in the way that Socrates was silenced and killed for his philosophy in the same way Debs was arrested for his words despite freedom of speech.

“They are both stubborn,” Roy said. “On the pain of death and imprisonment, they stand by their values and rebel against the unjust system. Standing up to unjust authority makes Debs an inspiration to me and that’s why I chose this speech.”

Roy and Rushing will compete in the county finals on Sunday, April 25. The contest is typically a live audience event, but this year contestants will record their presentations on the Lutcher Stage to be judged later in the week.