STUDENT POETRY CONTEST 2020 WINNERS

Local Students Win Poetry Prizes

Ligonier Valley Writers has just announced that students from schools throughout western Pennsylvania have won awards in LVW's 29th annual Student Poetry Awards. 

Congratulations to our 2020 Winners!

Grades 4-6

The winners of the Paul Spencer and Kathleen Brittain Poetry Award for rhymed verse (sponsored by Paul S. Brittain) are Jessica Tittle of Conemaugh Township Middle School (first prize for "Butterflies Fly"), Keira Neiderhiser of Ligonier Valley Middle School (second prize for “Halloween”) and Jack Walker Petrof, also of Ligonier Valley Middle School (third prize for “War"). 

Winners of the Chestnut Ridge Literary Award for unrhymed verse (sponsored by Lou and Barbara Steiner) are Anna Marie Stephenson of Ligonier Valley Middle School (first prize for  " You're Not Here"), Alana Poponick of the Valley School of Ligonier (second prize for “A Moment of Solitude") and Jana Smith, also of the Valley School of Ligonier  (third prize for " Home Is Near the Heart").

Winners of the Hayden Savinda Memorial Award for haiku (sponsored by Ronald J. Shafer) are Julian Thorne of Conemaugh Township Middle School (first prize for “Fishing”), Anna Stauffer of Ligonier Valley Middle School (second prize for “Storm”) and Robert Heimerle, also of Ligonier Valley Middle School (third prize for  “The Chase").

 

Grades 7-9

First-prize winner of the Highview Farm Award for traditional verse (sponsored by Sally Shirey) is Isabella Godzak for "Loving on the Edge.” Second-prize winner is Reyna Borrello for "The Painting.”  Third-prize winner is Kataira Rhodes for “Broken.” All three winners attend Belle Vernon Area Middle School. 

First-prize winner of the Shirey Poetry Award for free verse (also sponsored by Sally Shirey) is Krishna Visanakarrala of Chartiers Valley Middle School for  "My Pain Inside."  Second-prize winner is Joshua Plarchak of Belle Vernon Area Middle School for "Starved." Third-prize winner is Madeline Booth of Belle Vernon Area Middle School for "The Green Dragon."

First-prize winner of the Ogden Nash Award for light humorous verse (sponsored by Anita Staub) is Samuel Bialon for “Hidden Collection." Second-prize winner is Joshua Wieland for "Groovy Grammar." Third-prize winner is Braden Laux for "Pie." All three winners attend Belle Vernon Area Middle School.

 

Grades 10-12

In Grades 10-12, the first-prize winner of the Dr. Len Roberts Memorial Award for traditional verse (sponsored by Ruth McDonald) is Hannah Shin of North Allegheny Intermediate High School for "Unmask." Second-prize winner is Matthew McKay of Keystone Oaks High School for “The Cold Bench.” Third-prize winner is Isaac Fullard, also of Keystone Oaks High School, for "Fickle Youth." 

 

Hannah Shin of North Allegheny Intermediate High School has another first-prize win in the Henry Clay and Gladys Maas Pruitt Award for free verse (sponsored by Candace Green) for "Yet He Smiles." Second-prize winner is Angelina Brennsteiner of  Albert Gallatin Senior High School for "Green Growth." Third-prize winner is Natalia Sturges of Derry Area High School for  “Diamonds."

 

First-prize winner of the Marie Martin Memorial Award for romantic poetry (sponsored by Phil and Mary Lou Fleming) is Molly Sisitki of Blairsville High School for “Eleven Years." Second-prize winner is Natalia Sturges of Derry Area High School for "Love." No third prize was awarded in this category this year.

 

McGough Awards: The Best of the Best 

The Walter McGough Memorial Award is for the best of the best in each age group. Winners are Sonya Verbina of the Valley School of Ligonier for “The Aztec Animal” (grades 4-6),  Amber Brooks of Wendover Middle School for “Empty Shell” (grades 7-9) and Heavenke Lowman of BlairsvilleHigh School for “To Whom It Doesn't Concern ” (grades 10-12).

Two students won two prizes each. Hannah Shin of North Allegheny Intermediate High School won first prize in both the Roberts Award and the Pruitt Award. Natalia Sturges of Derry Area High School won both second prize in the Martin Award and third prize in the Pruitt Award. Special congratulations to Hannah and Natalia.

Five teachers had multiple winners in their classes: Kelly Ankney of Ligonier Valley Middle School, Carol Aten Frow of Belle Vernon Middle School, Meribeth DeBarto of Conemaugh Township Middle School, Nancy Kraemer of Keystone Oaks High School and Andrea DelFavero of Blairsville High School.

2019 STUDENT POETRY CONTEST WINNERS

Local Students Win Poetry Prizes from Ligonier Valley Writers
2019 Student Poetry Winners
2019 Student Poetry Winners

Front row (L-R): Nina Francia, Isabella Brunetto, Alexandra Monticue, Sienna Lehner, Sarah Ruschak, Ashtyn Guesman, Ksena Spencer,  Amber Yezek, Iva Droske, Zoe Robertson, Cassidy Brown Back row (L-R): Kate Cramer, Sonya Demacek, Bridget Doyle, Megan Miller, Faith McDowell, Brennen Novotney

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Winners Grades 4-6
Winners Grades 4-6

Left to right: Alexandra Monticue, Zoe Robertson, Ksena Spencer, Iva Droske, Cassidy Brown. (Not shown: Xander Meese, Abigail Luscher, Brianna Shetler, Haiden Henry, Madison Thomas. )

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Student Poetry Readings
Student Poetry Readings

Ligonier Valley Writers’ 28th annual Student Poetry Awards ceremony at the Barnes & Noble store in Greensburg.

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2019 Student Poetry Winners
2019 Student Poetry Winners

Front row (L-R): Nina Francia, Isabella Brunetto, Alexandra Monticue, Sienna Lehner, Sarah Ruschak, Ashtyn Guesman, Ksena Spencer,  Amber Yezek, Iva Droske, Zoe Robertson, Cassidy Brown Back row (L-R): Kate Cramer, Sonya Demacek, Bridget Doyle, Megan Miller, Faith McDowell, Brennen Novotney

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Students from schools throughout western Pennsylvania were honored at Ligonier Valley Writers’ 28th annual Student Poetry Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 27, at the Barnes & Noble store in Greensburg.

 

The winning students performed their poems aloud to an audience of proud family members, teachers, and others. These talented young writers received ribbons, booklets containing all the winning poems, and cash prizes (which most of them promptly spent on books).

Congratulations to our 2019 Winners!

Grades 4-6

Paul Spence & Kathleen Brittain Poetry Award for Rhymed Verse (Sponsored by Paul S. Brittain)

• First-prize is "Standing Still and Tall" by Alexandra Monticue, Ligonier Valley Middle School

• Second-prize is "Love of the Game" by Xander Meese, Conemaugh Township Middle School

• Third-prize is "The Art" by Abigail Luscher, Conemaugh Township Middle School

Chestnut Ridge Literary Award for Unrhymed Verse (Sponsored by Lou and Barbara Steiner)

• First-prize is "Winter" by Brianna Shetler, Conemaugh Township Middle School

• Second-prize is "The Pain Will be Less" by Ksena Spencer, Greensburg Salem Middle School

• Third-prize is "Glacier" by Haiden Henry, Conemaugh Township Middle School

Hayden Savinda Memorial Award for Haiku (Sponsored by Ronald J. Shafer)

• First-prize is "The Black Flamingo" by Zoe Robertson, Ligonier Valley Middle School

• Second-prize is "Author" by Iva Droske, Ligonier Valley Middle School

• Third-prize is "On a Snow Day" by Madison Thomas, Conemaugh Township Middle School


Grades 7-9

Highview Farm Award for Traditional Verse (Sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey)

• First-prize is "Longing to Fly Again" by Isabella Brunetto, Indiana Area Junior High School

• Second-prize is "Resist" by Amber Yezek, Southmoreland Middle School

• Third-prize is "Lunch" by Emma Pruett, Hempfield Area High School

Shirey Poetry Award for Free Verse (Sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey)

• First-prize is "Replanted and Redefined" by Emma Galbraith, Southmoreland Middle School

• Second-prize is "Writer's Block" by Sienna Lehner, Belle Vernon Area Middle School

• Third-prize is "The Man in the House" by Nina Francia, Belle Vernon Area Middle School

Ogden Nash Award for Light Humorous Verse (Sponsored by Anita Staub)

• First-prize is "The Bus Ride" by Sarah Ruschak, Belle Vernon Area Middle School

• Second-prize is "My 2018 Vacation" by Evan Pohlot, Belle Vernon Area Middle School

• Third-prize is "Sleuthing for Sunglasses" by Sienna Lehner, Belle Vernon Area Middle School


Grades 10-12

Dr. Len Roberts Memorial Award for Traditional Verse (Sponsored by Ruth McDonald)

• First-prize is "Sincerely, Me" by Faith McDowell, Ligonier Valley High School

• Second-prize is "Writers" by Arwin Elliott, Albert Gallatin Senior High School

• Third-prize is "The Beauty of Life" by Natalia Sturges, Derry Area High School

Jane Robb Gallagher Award for Free Verse (Sponsored by Judith Gallagher)

• First-prize is "Homeless" by Bridget Doyle, Blairsville High School

• Second-prize is "Wave" by Sonya E. Demacek, Blairsville High School

• Third-prize is "Normal" by Faith McDowell, Ligonier Valley High School


Marie Martin Memorial Award for Romantic Poetry (Sponsored by Phil and Mary Lou Fleming) 

• First-prize is "A Language of My Own: or Love" by Brennen Novotney, Hempfield High School

• Second-prize is "Him" by Shanna McManus, Albert Gallatin Senior High School

• Third-prize is "The Right Love" by Megan Miller, Derry Area High School

McGough Awards: The Best of the Best

The Walter McGough Memorial Award is for the best of the best in each age group. Winners are Cassidy Brown of Ligonier Valley Middle School for “Cliff” (grades 4-6), Kate Cramer of Southmoreland Middle School for “There Are No Sarahs Here” (grades 7-9) and Ashtyn Guesman of Albert Gallatin Senior High School for “She and a Sunset” (grades 10-12).


Two students won two prizes each. Sienna Lehner won both second prize in the Shirey Award and third prize in the Ogden Nash Award, and Faith McDowell won both first prize in the Dr. Len Roberts Memorial Award and third prize in the Jane Robb Gallagher Award. Faith has won at least one award in the LVW poetry contest every year since 2013. Special congratulations to Faith and Sienna.


Five teachers had multiple winners in their classes. Meribeth DeBarto of Conemaugh Township Middle School is the teacher of Brianna Shetler, Xander Meese, Abigail Luscher, Haiden Henry, and Madison Thomas. Kelly Ankney of Ligonier Valley Middle School is the teacher of Cassidy Brown, Alexandra Monticue,  Zoe Robertson, and Iva Droske. Bethany Hutira of Southmoreland Middle School is the teacher of Kate Cramer, Emma Galbraith, and Amber Yezek. April Serock of Albert Gallatin Senior High School is the teacher of Ashtyn Guesman, Arwin Elliott, and Shanna McManus. Andrea DelFavero of Blairsville High School is the teacher of Bridget Doyle and Sonya E. Demacek.

2018 STUDENT POETRY CONTEST WINNERS

Local Students Win Poetry Prizes from Ligonier Valley Writers

Students from schools throughout western Pennsylvania and homeschoolers were honored

at Ligonier Valley Writers’ 27th annual Student Poetry Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Barnes & Noble store in Greensburg.

 

The winning students performed their poems aloud to an audience of proud family members, teachers, and others. These talented young writers received ribbons, booklets containing all the winning poems, and cash prizes (which most of them promptly spent on books).

Front row, left to right: Jordyn Keller (Wendover Middle School), Kimmy Barnard (Wendover Middle School), William Flow (Derry Area Middle School), Emily Pierce (Greater Latrobe Jr. High School). Back row, left to right: Faith McDowell (Ligonier Valley High School), Rachel Levesque (Blairsville High School), Luke Duffey (Blairsville High School), Natalia Sturges (Derry Area High School).

Congratulations to our 2018 Winners!

Grades 4-6

Chestnut Ridge Literary Award for Unrhymed Verse (Sponsored by Lou and Barbara Steiner)

• First-prize is Adleigh Myers, homeschooled (Grade 4) for "Sweet Sap"

No second or third prize was awarded in this category this year.


Grades 7-9

Highview Farm Award for Traditional Verse (Sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey)

• First-prize winner is Kylie Landis, Somerset Area Middle School (Grade 9) for "I'm Going to School Today”

• Second-prize winner is Jordyn Keller, Wendover Middle School (Grade 7) for "Martin"

• Third-prize winner is Natalia Sturges, Derry Area High School (Grade 9) for “My Turn”

Shirey Poetry Award for Free Verse (Sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey)
• First-prize winner is Kylie Landis, Somerset Area Middle School (Grade 9) for "In the Wind"

• Second-prize winner is  Samantha Reese, of  Derry Area Middle School (Grade 7) for "Meadows"

• Third-prize winner is Kimmy Barnard, of Wendover Middle School (Grade 7) for "Nothing"

Ogden Nash Award for Light Humorous Verse (Sponsored by Anita Staub)
• First-prize winner is Natalia Sturges, Derry Area High School (Grade 9) for “English Is Phatt"

• Second-prize winner is William Flow, Derry Area Middle School (Grade 8) for "Drive-In"

• Third-prize winner is Emily Pierce, Greater Latrobe Junior High School (Grade 8) for "Tennis"
 
Grades 10-12

Dr. Len Roberts Memorial Award for Traditional Verse (Sponsored by Ruth McDonald)

• First-prize winner is Rachel Levesque, Blairsville High School (Grade 11) for "If Time Were a Person"

• Second-prize winner is Faith McDowell, Ligonier Valley High School (Grade 11) for “They Deserve to Know”

No third prize was awarded this year.

Jane Robb Gallagher Award for Free Verse (Sponsored by Judith Gallagher)
• First-prize winner is Shannon Podolski, Blairsville High School (Grade 11) for "Sugarcoated"
• Second-prize winner is Luke Duffey Blairsville High School (Grade 11) for "Praying for Prey"

• Third-prize winner is Faith McDowell, Ligonier Valley High School (Grade 11) for  “Who I Want to Be"
Marie Martin Memorial Award for Romantic Poetry (Sponsored by Phil and Mary Lou Fleming) 

• First-prize winner is Faith McDowell of Ligonier Valley High School (Grade 11) for “Love Is Strong"