Poetry Madness

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The English Department at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School recently hosted its annual poetry contest that mimics the March Madness College Basketball Tournament.

The contest is a legacy of Ginny Sievers, former English teacher and lover of both poetry and basketball. The English Department annually receives hundreds of entries and narrows them down from 64 to 32 to 16 to eight. On Friday, March 23, the poems of the Elite 8 – Anjali Baloy, Anne Blaeser, Caitlin Cassini, Marc Crocco,
Jessica Fraumeni, Tyler Kelly, Sharon Oosterwijk and Gabriella Padiernos – were read at an assembly for students in grades 9-12. After the judges heard and reviewed the students’ work, the following were named winners: 

First Place: Tyler Kelly’s “Done Waiting on Change”
Second Place: Gabriella Padiernos’ “Poetry Is Freedom”
Third Place: Jessica Fraumeni’s “Together”
Fourth Place (tie): Anne Blaeser’s “A Vivid Memory” and 
Marc Crocco’s “The Closet”

Assistant Principal TJ Terranova said the poems submitted spoke exceptional truth and are timely, passionate and inspiring.