Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Ohio Poetry Association 2020 Student Contest Winners

The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is pleased to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the 2020 High School Poetry Contest. Eligible poems were sent to the National Federation of State Poetry Societies Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest. All winning poems receive monetary awards and publication in an OPA chapbook. Congratulations to all the winners!


We want to thank each contest sponsor and judges for their support and time. The contests would not exist without all of them.

We congratulate the teachers from each school with student winning poems and honorable mentions: Bexley High School, Rikki Santer and Julie Horger; Boardman High School, Randy Nord; Bowling Green High School, Sarah Caserta; Buckeye Local High School, Stephanie Crust; Dublin Coffman High School, Tyler Gantz; Dublin Jerome High School, Samantha Razem; Hudson High School, Gina M. VonVille; Lake High School, Chris Wise; Minster High School, Jessie Magoto; Pandora-Gilboa High School, Sarah Schroeder; Sidney High School, Amy Gleason; Theodore Roosevelt High School, Pamela Harr; Toledo School for  the Arts, Justin Longacre; Waynedale High School, Kevin Stacy; West Geauga High School, Christopher Connell; Western Reserve Academy, Todd Gilbert; Whitmer High School, Cynthia Lambrecht.

Special thanks go to Sharon Fish Mooney, the student contest coordinator. Sharon devotes many hours of her time to make these contests special and to solicit as many entries from Ohio's high school students as possible. In recent years, we've seen the contests grow in the number of entries and in variety of voices. Thanks you, Sharon!


Anyone interested in sponsoring the student contests can contact Sharon Mooney via email at for more information.

Contests and Winners

Common Threads Journal Winners (Grand Prize)

1st place: Thomas Long – Bowling Green High School 

Honorable Mention: Gwendolyn Pyle – Toledo School for the Arts

Voices from the Past -  Sponsor: Mark Hersman — Judge: Scott Craig Mooney

   1st   Alyssa Lingenfelter (Buckeye Local High School)        

2nd   Steve Bezak (Buckeye Local High School

3rd    Austin Felice (Minster High School)

David Francis Smith Award - Sponsor: Teresa Santmyer — Judge: Chuck Salmons

1st    Austin Felice  (Minster High School)

2nd  Julian Lawson (Sidney High School)

3rd   Kaden Knake (West Geauga High School)

HM: Thomas Long (Bowling Green High School); Ryan Gibson (Sidney High School); Ryan Strunk (Sidney High School) 

      New Beginnings - Sponsor and judges: Great Expectations Writers (Betsy Kennedy and Mary Beth Benicke)

         1st    Kaden Knake (West Geauga High School)

         2nd  Yeji Kim (Hudson High School)

         3rd   Yoselin Whited (Lake High School)

  HM: Claire Laux (Theodore Roosevelt High School; Austin  Felice (Minster High School); Olivia Mosca (Theodore Roosevelt High School )

Humor - Sponsor and judge: Pat Snyder Hurley

          1st   Gwendolyn Pyle (Toledo School for the Arts) 

          2nd   Bea Bolongaita (Dublin Jerome High School)

          3rd    Steve Bezak (Buckeye Local High School)

Sonnet - Sponsor and judge: Betsy Hughes

1st   Thomas Long (Bowling Green High School)

Ekphrastic - Sponsors and judges: Jane Kretschmann and Deborah Strozier

1st   Esther Gingerich (Waynedale High School)

2nd    Abigail Elizondo (Bexley High School)

3rd   Yeji Kim (Hudson High School)

A Sense of  Place - Sponsor and judge: William R. Reyer

1st   Thomas Long (Bowling Green High School)

2nd   Ava Reischuck  (Theodore Roosevelt High School)

3rd    Zhiyi Wu (Western Reserve Academy)

HM: Avery Frazier Thompson (Toledo School for the Arts); Annie Lee Johnson (Dublin Coffman High School); Grace Wieser (Boardman High School)

         Short and to the Point - Sponsor and judges: The Springfield Writers (Amy Jo Zook and Betsy Richards)

1st  Jaina DeMeter (Buckeye Local High School)

2nd  Evelyn Russell (Pandora-Gilboa High School)

3rd  Aaron Smith (Lake High School)

HM: Keenan Johnson (Sidney High School); Claire Laux (Theodore Roosevelt High School); Annie Lee Johnson (Dublin Coffman High School)

  Cinquain - Sponsor and judges: PentaPoets (Patricia Black, Janet Ladrach, Sharon Fish Mooney, Robin Mullet, Rinda Sansom)

1st   Claire Laux (Theodore Roosevelt High School)

2nd   Austin Felice (Minster High School)

3rd   Ava Reischuck (Theodore Roosevelt High School)

HM: Lexie Neuenschwander (Pandora-Gilboa High School); Quinton Peters (Whitmer High School); James White (Buckeye Local High School) 


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