MMI Preparatory School senior Andrew Decker, the son of Atty. Elizabeth and Troy Topolski, Sugarloaf and Aaron Decker, Kingston, won the school Poetry Out Loud competition and will represent MMI for the fourth consecutive year at the regional competition on December 12 at the WVIA studios in Pittston.

Senior Daniel DeMelfi, the son of Ronald (Danny) and Esme DeMelfi of Hazleton, was MMI’s first runner-up and Benjamin Putnam, the son of Benjamin and Andrea Putnam of Sugarloaf, finished as the second runner-up. MMI English instructor Jennifer Novotney served as the faculty advisor.

During the regional competition, Decker will compete with students from throughout Luzerne, Lackawanna, northwestern Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and eastern Wyoming Counties. Students will recite two poems each and the top three will recite a third poem during the competition. The regional competition, which is held under the direction of Arts in Education of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19, will be televised in April on WVIA-TV as part of the station’s National Poetry Month celebration. The winner of the regional competition will advance to the state finals, which are set for March of 2019 in Harrisburg.

Poetry Out Loud is designed to help students master public speaking skills, build confidence and learn about literary history and contemporary life by memorizing and reciting classic poems. The national competition is part of the coupling of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation with U.S. state arts agencies.


CAPTION: Andrew Decker, pictured at far right in the third row, won MMI’s Poetry Out Loud school competition for the fourth consecutive year and will represent the school at the regional Poetry Out Loud