Previous POL Nebraska State Finalists

POETRY OUT LOUD STATE CHAMPION | 2020-2021

Congratulations to, Alexandra Zaleski of Skutt Catholic High School!

Thank you to Sherri Hoye, teacher and POL coordinator for Skutt Catholic High School!

As State Champion, Alexandra Zaleski, has earned $200 from The Poetry Foundation, as well as an additional $500 for her school’s library to purchase new poetry books. Zaleski represented Nebraska at the 2021 Poetry Out Loud National Competition and won $1,000 prize for being named a national finalist.

1ST RUNNER-UP

Congratulations to, Madeleine Smith of Marian High School!

Thank you to Marsha Kalkowski, teacher and POL coordinator for Marian High School!

As State Champion 1st runner-up, Madeleine Smith, has earned herself $100 from The Poetry Foundation, as well as an additional $200 for her school’s library, to purchase new poetry books.

2ND RUNNER-UP

Congratulations to, Jacob Wellnitz of Gordon-Rushville High School!

Thank you to Kinley Hadden, teacher and POL coordinator for Gordon-Rushville High School!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Listed in alphabetical order by school:

Cedar Catholic High School  – Cambelle Niemen, 10th grade
Thayer Central Community Schools  – Elle Sudbeck, 9th grade

 

POETRY OUT LOUD STATE CHAMPION | 2019-2020

From left to right: first runner-up Jayden Leonard, Nebraska State Champion Juan De La Cruz, and second runner-up Lauren Hubert.

From left to right: first runner-up Jayden Leonard, Nebraska State Champion Juan De La Cruz, and second runner-up Lauren Hubert.

Juan De La Cruz Named State Champion

Juan De La Cruz, a senior at Gordon-Rushville High School in Gordon, was named the 2020 Poetry Out Loud Nebraska State Champion. This is the first time that Gordon-Rushville High School, and POL Coordinator and Teacher, Kinley Hadden have produced a state champion since the program began 15 years ago. De La Cruz recited three poems, “Spanglish” by Tato Laviera, “Bent to the Earth” by Blas Manuel De Luna, and “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus.

De La Cruz, along with 13 other students from high schools across the state, competed for the title on Sunday, March 8, at the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln. Jayden Leonard from Thayer Central Community Schools of Hebron was named first runner-up, and Lauren Hubert from Skutt Catholic High School of Omaha was named second runner-up.