Thursday, December 11, 2008

St. Bernard Prep student wins poetry contest

St. Bernard Prep School student, Jesse Schaffer, had good karma on Friday, December 5. Schaffer along with Elizabeth Schweers represented St. Bernard at the district Poetry Out Loud competition at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Schaffer, a junior at the private boarding school in Cullman said, “Today was a special day that tied into the anniversary death of my baby sister for whom my poem was written. It is also the birthday of Mrs. Couch, the teacher who encouraged me to enter the contest.”

Schaffer competed against twelve other students in the district, and pulled off a first place victory with his poem titled, “A Breath of Grace.” “I wrote this poem one evening about an event that will remain forever in my mind.” Schaffer continued, “Leven years ago my little sister, Abbey Grace, was still-born. The poem recants hearing the two words “she’s gone,” and feeling the heavy hears our family shared.”

Couch has worked with her freshman and junior students since fall to prepare them for this competition. “I jokingly told them that my best birthday present would be for one or both of our entrants to win or place at District since the competition was on December 5.”

Couch said Schaffer did an outstanding job and his first place honor was well deserved. “He presented his poem with such heartfelt emotion; the audience was sobbing and dobbing their eyes.” Schweers memorized three poems and competed in the anthhology recitation event. “We are proud of Elizabeth for her representation of St. Bernard. She will be back competing next year. She has the talent and drive to succeed.”

Schaffer won first place in original poetry, and was awarded a check for $100 and a $1,000 scholarship to the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He will compete at the state level on February 28 in Montgomery, Alabama.

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