Within the last week, two Sanford students have won two statewide competitions: Poetry Out Loud and the Delaware Spelling Bee.

Within the last week, two Sanford students have won two statewide competitions: Poetry Out Loud and the Delaware Spelling Bee.

McMillan's Poetic Victory

Freshman Jordan McMillan won the statewide competition for Poetry Out Loud on Wednesday, March 6 at the Smyrna Opera House. Jordan will represent Delaware in the national competition.

Eleven state finalists recited two poems, and the judges named six finalists. Each of the six finalists then recited one last poem, and the winners were selected based on a compilation of the three scores. The first poem McMillan recited was "For the young who want to" by Marge Piercy. Her second poem was "Calling Him Back From Layoff" by Bob Hicok. These two poems are the ones that she recited to win the Sanford competition and the semifinalist competition in Dover. Her third poem, which she had not recited before, was "Grief" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

McMillan was the only freshman named a finalist (top 6). This is the eighth year that Delaware has participated in Poetry Out Loud.

I sat down with Jordan at Sanford to ask her how she prepared for the competition.

Q How did you choose the poems that you performed in the competition?

A I chose poems that had good meaning and that felt relatable to the world.

Q How did you practice?

A I printed out copies and memorized them. I recited them to my mom in the car or in front of the mirror.

Q How is the competition judged?

A I know they judge on memorization, the difficulty of the poems, and the ways you recite them.

Allingham Best at Bee

Seventh grader Lily Allingham won the Delaware Spelling Bee Saturday, March 2 at St. Mark's High School. More than 60 Delaware schools sent representatives from grades four through eight to the Scripps-sponsored annual event.

As the state winner, Allingham receives a free trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the national level, a $100 savings bond, and an 11-pound Webster's Third New International Dictionary.

I sat down with Lily to find out how she has become such a good speller, among other things.

Q How did you prepare for the Delaware Spelling Bee?

A I got the list of words online and made notecards and had my mom quiz me.

Q When you arrived at the Spelling Bee, how stiff did the competition look?

A Many of the competitors looked serious. It got down the 5 girls that lasted 24 rounds.

Q Describe the final round.

A My competitor misspelled collusion, which I then spelled correctly. I then had to spell plummet for the win.

Q What makes you a good speller?

A Reading has helped me learn how to spell and understand the rules of words.