The Clemson Poetry Declamation Contest is an annual competition where students recite a poem in a foreign language. Their poems are then distributed based upon the level of language that they are currently enrolled in. High school students from across the region participate in the event, and winning is no easy feat.
The last declamation contest in 2019, hosted 486 students competing in nine different languages, Whitewater included. Students did an outstanding job, placing top 5 in their respective languages. Ella Spears, a 4th year in French, won 1st place, “It was cool that out of all those people, that I was one of the few that got to be first.” Another student, Carolina Stover, actually participated in 2 languages, German and French. She won 2nd place in French, but didn’t place in German “because [she] was still learning [her] poem,” she said while chuckling.
This year, the contest will be held a little differently due to COVID, students will have to submit a recording instead. Whitewater will have 63 students participating in 3 different languages: French, Spanish, and German. With a good handful of the students winning last time, it’s obvious they have amazing teachers who know how to direct their students, assuring Whitewater some more victories.