Trumbull high students dominate COLT Poetry contest

COLT Award Winners pose for a picture earlier this spring at East Haven High School.
COLT Award Winners pose for a picture earlier this spring at East Haven High School.

Earlier this spring, 37 students from THS competed in the COLT Poetry Recitation contest, sponsored by the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers, which was held at East Haven High School.

This statewide competition gave high school students in Trumbull the opportunity to shine again this year in different voices and languages, requiring the students to recite poems in different languages by voicing the feelings of many authors and poets from many parts of the world.

The Eagles, represented by more than three dozen students, competed in 12 different languages and participated among 52 other schools.

As a selection requirement, most of the students had to compete within the school to get a spot for the statewide competition.

The output of interest is getting so high every year that it is becoming overwhelmingly competitive to participate.

Trumbull has been participating at the COLT Poetry Contest since 2009 and every year the participation rate goes higher.

The results have improved, too. Last year’s 23 students’ 20 medals were topped by this year’s 23 awards.

“It is so exciting to hear our school being announced so many times at the awarding of medals! I think that is the time when the students get the recognition so deserved for their hard work and dedication,” said COLT advisor Laura Santelli, who advises with Maria Manso-García.

Trumbull High students competed in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and German and won 10 gold medals, nine silver medals and four bronze prizes.

Senior Andrew Jurgielewicz, who competed in German, said that “It is amazing to see the diversity of languages and cultures in Trumbull and Connecticut.”

The journey into this competition is a big part of the success.

At the end of the day, the students recite their poems with such a deep and strong feeling that the poem feels like it is their own masterpiece.

“It is incredible to see how, after so much practice, I get to feel each word as if it was my own poem” said Astonique Robinson, a Spanish-speaking student.

On the way back home after a long day, the students’ excitement was evident.

“Next year we’ll do better, next year I will do better definitely,” said Bianca Espejo, who spoke Italian. “This was such a cool experience.”

These kinds of activities allow the THS school community to embrace the beauty of diversity. The school is comprised of a wonderful, diverse community that is well represented in its different languages and cultures every year in this statewide competition.

“We can’t wait for next year,” said Manso-García.