MMI Preparatory School sophomore Andrew Decker placed among the top five in Pennsylvania at the Poetry Out Loud state competition in Harrisburg.
Decker, the son of Aaron Decker, Kingston, and Elizabeth and Troy Topolski, Sugarloaf, was one of only 15 students who advanced to the state finals out of a total of 7,000 students from across the state who entered the competition starting at the school level.
Last November, Decker finished as MMI’s in-school winner for the second consecutive year and advanced to the regional competition the following month at the WVIA-TV studios in Pittston, where he finished first among students from parts of six counties across Northeast PA and the Northern Tier.
During the state finals, each student recited two poems to determine the top five students. Those five finalists recited a third poem before a winner was selected from the group.
Jennifer Novotney, MMI English instructor and Poetry Out Loud adviser, said, “I am very proud of all of the hard work and dedication that Andrew put into this competition from the school level through regionals and all the way to the state finals. It was very exciting to watch him represent MMI at the state competition.”
Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about literary history and contemporary life.