From the Alaska State Council on the Arts March 2017 Newsletter:
JUNEAU, ALASKA – The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC) are pleased to announce that Isabella Weiss, a freshman from Colony High School in Palmer is Alaska’s State Champion. Isabella will go on to represent Alaska at the National Competition in Washington, DC in April. The Alaska POL Runner-up for 2017 is Elisa Larson of Petersburg High School.
Isabella Weiss of Wasilla | Colony High School
Isabella Weiss is a 9th grader from Colony High School in Palmer, Alaska. This is her first year participating in Poetry Out Loud, although she has a long history of performing in community theater and school speech and debate competitions. She finds reciting poetry especially fun because it affords her the opportunity to experience the beat and rhythm of words mixed with expressing emotions. Her other interests include competitive gymnastics, travel, hanging out with her sister, and student government activities. Isabella loves working with children and is interested in pursuing a career in teaching or pediatric medicine.
Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. In the 2016-2017 school year, Poetry Out Loud celebrates its twelfth anniversary, reaching millions of students from more than 7,300 schools nationwide.
Isabella Weiss emerged as the Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Championfrom a state finalist field of10 students, including Elisa Larson of Petersburg High School, Madeline Andriesen of Haines High School, Amanda Davison of Elim Aniguiin School, Elissa Koyuk of Juneau-Douglas High School, Moriyah Lorentzen of Tanalian School in Port Alsworth, Sarah Price of North Pole High School, Ashelyn Rude of Glenallen School, Juan Sarmiento of Homer High School, and Jania Tumey of West Anchorage High School.
This year, more than 3700 Alaska students grades 9-12 participated in Poetry Out Loud in their home communities. ASCA and JAHC congratulate all these students for their work in memorization and recitation of poetry from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology. We thank all of the teachers, librarians, school administrators, parents and community partners who support and encourage their students to participate. Each of these supporters helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Alaska Poetry Out Loud is presented in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and schools and communities across the state of Alaska.