Above, from left: Michaela Cloyd and Sameayah Pehlke. Photo courtesy of ESD 112.

For the second consecutive year, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics student Sameayah Pehlke has been crowned one of two champions in the regional Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, hosted by ESD 112.

Students from nine Southwest Washington high schools competed at ESD 112 on Feb. 2. Pehlke was the only Vancouver Public Schools student. The participants, winners of their respective schools’ Poetry Out Loud competitions, recited works from an anthology of more than 700 poems. Judges evaluated their recitations on accuracy, understanding, voice and articulation.

Now, Pehlke and fellow 2016 regional winner Michaela Cloyd, from Ridgefield High School in the Ridgefield School District, will advance to the state competition in March. The state champion will earn a chance to compete in the national finals in May in Washington, D.C.

Poetry Out Loud is presented in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.