You must not lose faith in humanity. If a few drops are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. ~Mohandas Gandhi
Congratulations to the following girls for receiving Academic All State (Volleyball):
Brandon Thornton, a 12th grader who attends Lesterville R-IV Ranch Campus, stepped up and made his English teacher proud by reciting two poems at the Southeast Missouri Regional Poetry Out Loud Finals in the Oscar C. Hirsch room of the Cape Girardeau Public Library on Saturday, January 16. Thornton, son of Melissa Gale Kruse, recited “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost and “A Barred Owl” by Richard Wilbur from memory in front of a panel of judges and an audience of teachers and guests.
Thornton was picked as the alternate for regional competition from among his peers by Ranch Campus English Instructor Randal A. Burd, Jr. after completing a rigorous unit designed to prepare students to recite a famous poem from memory. Ms. Sandra Watts is Mr. Burd’s aide in the English classroom and helped the students achieve the successful memorization of their chosen poems. Freshman Tyler Winters was originally chosen to represent the Ranch by reciting "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer and "The Darker Sooner" by Catherine Wing. Enthusiastic and well-rehearsed, Tyler was disappointed to find himself so ill on the morning of the regional competition that he was unable to attend.
Brandon Thornton was one of three students representing their school at the regional competition, which was sponsored by the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri with funding from the Missouri Arts Council, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The other high schools represented in the competition included Ellington High School and Notre Dame Regional High School. Competitors were judged on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, and accuracy.
Preparation for all of Mr. Burd’s English students at the Lesterville R-IV Ranch Campus included extracurricular practice, recitations in front of the class, assigned readings/recitations to various individual school and ranch staff members, guided individual research and blogging on chosen poems, plus review and discussion of past audio and video Poetry Out Loud performances. Most students begin the Poetry Out Loud unit timid and insecure about reading poetry in front of any audience, much less reciting it from memory. As the students progress from reading to reciting in front of a classroom and to various individuals, their comfort and confidence improve substantially.
While only one student and an alternate are chosen each year to represent the school in regional competition, all students who participate in the unit gain invaluable confidence, knowledge in classical and modern poetry, and skill in public speaking which will benefit them throughout their lives.
Thornton is the eighth student Mr. Burd has taken to a regional competition for Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation competition initiated in 2006.
Congratulations to Nate Reynolds on signing to play baseball with Central Methodist University for the next four years! We’re so proud of you.
Students @ Home
33415 Hwy. 21P. O. Box 120Lesterville, MO 63654
Main Campus Numbers:
Main: (573) 637-2201Main Fax: (573) 637-2279
Phone 573-269-4207Fax 573-269-4277
525 CR 816P O Box 127Black, MO 63625