Maya Arevalo (’25), Katelyn Micko (’24), Riley Rubio (’23), and Anna Reins (’22) with their respective awards after the Poetry Out Loud school-wide competition. (Photo Credits: Kara Manelli / Achona Online / Used with Permission)
Maya Arevalo (’25), Katelyn Micko (’24), Riley Rubio (’23), and Anna Reins (’22) with their respective awards after the Poetry Out Loud school-wide competition.

Photo Credits: Kara Manelli / Achona Online / Used with Permission

Academy hosts double feature: Poetry Out Loud and Guest speaker

February 3, 2022

On Tuesday, February 1 to celebrate the second day of Catholic Schools Week, Academy hosted its 13th school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition. This national contest encourages high schoolers from all over the nation to increase their knowledge of poetry through the skills of memorization and recitation; it especially helps students to master public speaking skills, become confident onstage, and dig deep into literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud begins with students reciting within their classrooms. One student is then selected to move forward to the grade-level runoff. The grade-level winners then advance to a school wide competition and the winner of that has the opportunity of participating in a state competition. The winner then advances to the national competition where they have a chance to obtain the grand prize of $20,000.

This year the grade level winners were as follows:  Maya Arevalo (25), Katelyn Micko (24), Riley Rubio (23), and Anna Reins (22)

After winning their grade level contests, the participants took to memorize a second poem to showcase their range and contrasting tones. They prepared to perform in front of the school-wide assembly

The grade contest was judged by teachers and faculty including, theology teacher Sofia Curry, college counselor Lisa Kolar, and biology teacher Lori Troutman. While the school-wide event was judged by a board of alums: Angela Spicola Morgan (A’67) Mrs. Terin Barbas Cremer (A’03), and Alisha Bhadelia Ozmeral (A’00).

Arevelo started with her poem, “To be of Use” by Marge Piercy, she was followed by Micko who presented “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. Upperclasswoman Riley Rubio performed “To Have Without Holding” by Marge Piercy followed by Senior Anna Reins who performed “Where the Wild Things Go” by D. Gilson. The competitors continued to the second round in the same order, reciting the different poems, Arevalo (25) “Alive” by Natasha Sajé, Micko (24) “Won’t You Celebrate with Me” by Lucille Clifton, Rubio (23) “Dirge without Music” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Reins (22) “I Remember, I Remember” by Thomas Hood.

The winner of this year’s poetry out Loud was Junior Riley Rubio. She will move on to the 2022 State Competition, which will be hosted in person this year by USF – St. Petersburg Campus on March 5.

After a short break, another event was held. Special guest Maggie Craig came to offer a unique perspective on femininity and what it means to be enrolled in an all-girl Catholic school. In her speech, she discussed the Feminine Genius, a 107-page document shortened to 9 pages presented by Pope John Paul II to the United Nations.

The seven parts of the feminine genius were the following: motherhood, relationships, sensitivity, insight, honesty, service, and heroic love. She proceeded to break these down and included personal anecdotes and historical references that inspired both laughter and contemplation in the student body.

Mission and Ministry teacher Patrick Phelan said “I was very excited for the chance to have Maggie come to campus. When asked to bring in a speaker for Catholic Schools Week, I knew Maggie would be a great fit for our student body because of how great her talks were. Her woman’s talk is very unique, and I think she does a great job focusing on the inherent dignity and gifts every woman is given by God. From talking to other students, it seems like her talk was well received and she was highly relatable. I hope we can bring her back in the future!”

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