FLORENCE – Francis Marion University hosted more than 100 Pee Dee area high school students Oct. 5 when they vied for awards in the first Declamation Contest. Professors and high school teachers heard poetry selections by students speaking French, Latin and Spanish.
A declamation is an oratory and recitation contest. Award winners in French I were Jequel Taggers of Marlboro County High School (1st Place), Letitia Page of Marion High School (2nd Place) and Heather Suggs of Darlington High School, (3rd Place). Award winners in French II were Carlos Graham of Darlington High School (1st Place), Corry Bostic of Marlboro County High School (2nd Place) and Melanie Goodson of Darlington High School (3rd Place).
In Spanish I, award winners were Gloria Wright of Timmonsville High School (1st Place), Isabel Rivera of Marlboro County High School (2nd Place) and Katie Martin of James F. Byrnes Academy (3rd Place). In Spanish II, award winners were Caroline McAlister of Hannah Pamplico High School (1st Place), Natasha Wright of Timmonsville High School (2nd Place) and Richard Vaughan of Darlington High School (3rd Place).
Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology swept all Latin awards. Latin I awards went to Molly Tinius (1st Place) and Cathy Thomas (2nd Place). There was a tie for Latin II awards between Ronnie Carroway and Julie Proell and Latin III honors were awarded to Kristin Jeffords (1st Place) and Jocelyn Little (2nd Place).
All students were evaluated on presentations, including understanding of the material, pronunciation, enunciation, and dramatic interpretation. Selections were chosen from well-known authors of the targeted language.
Chris Johnson, Ph.D., chairman of the FMU Department of English, Modern Languages and Philosophy, and foreign language teachers Sally Weiland of Darlington High School and Gloria Martineau of Marlboro County High School helped organize the event. In the past, students were required to travel to Clemson University to compete. Other area high schools are encouraged to participate in next year’s competition. For more information, contact Johnson at 843-661-1518.