Meet the 2017 POL Competitors

From Dani Brown, Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator —

The CMA Theatre

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will host the 2017 statewide Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission on March 4. Nineteen high school students from around the state will travel to Nashville to compete for the state champion title. They include:

Ashley Brantner, a 10th grader at Providence Academy in Johnson City, TN. Ashley enjoys reading and theater.

Addisyn Bryant,  a senior, vice-president of her school’s Speech Club and Mock Trial team, and has been a lead actress the past three years for the CHS theatre.  She also acts and volunteers at the Roxy Regional Theatre.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, blogging, going to the movies, and chasing after her zany puppy, Stevie.

Ethan Callaghan, an 18-year-old senior and has been active in the arts and theater for 13 years. After he gets his Doctorate in Studio Arts, he would like to be a college professor.  But currently, he is enjoying spending his last semester of high school making costumes, cosplaying, and blogging about Star Trek and Marvel Comics.

Daysha Collins, a senior. She spends her time reading, dancing, acting, playing soccer, participating in youth group activities, playing the piano and cheering for the University High Bucs. Daysha is looking forward to the competition and is very happy she can share these moments with her family once again.

Kayleigh Corban, a Central Magnet student from Murfreesboro, TN with a passion for archery, English, and poetry.

Taylor Elliott, a sophomore at Briarcrest Christian School. He enjoys singing in the Chamber Choir and folding origami. A member of the Wordsmith Team and National Latin Honor Society, he is also a recipient of the DAR Christopher Columbus Award.  One of his favorite quotations states, “If you can’t be a poet, be the poem.”

Sarahanne Ferrell, is a well-rounded student – from cheerleading to marching band, from theatrical production to spoken word, she is a true Renaissance woman. Her hobbies are writing, singing, and anything that is challenging. She is passionate about technical theater, set-building, and being colorful. She is looking forward to presenting for Poetry Out Loud for the second year.

Pax Fordham, a 15-year-old at Madison Academy. He is president of his freshman class, a member of the drama team, and basketball team. His hobbies include public speaking, filmmaking, and reading.

Robert Henry Love Greene, a freshman at Memphis Central High School. He has appeared in numerous productions including The Importance of Being Earnest.

Treasure Hampton, a sophomore at RePublic High School.  She is a founding member of her high school as well as a member of Jemison 10, one of the leading advisories at RHS.  As a musician, she makes beautiful melodies with the violin and athletically, she excels as a point guard for the girl’s basketball team. Treasure is a delightfully talented young lady and RHS is proud to call her “scholar”.

Brennan Humphreys, a senior at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, TN. He competed in Poetry Out Loud last year, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to give it another go. He is passionate about running and foreign languages, and while he is undecided on what school to attend in the fall, he plans to major in linguistics. He is excited to be back this year, and he certainly hopes people enjoy his poems.

Michelle Mellard, who goes to Brighton High School and is a historian of her senior class. She enjoys sunrises, cool weather, plenty of hot tea, and in general anything forward-thinking. She is not hindered by convention or tradition. Writing poetry and doing yoga are her passions, and is a bit of a lifestyle hippie. She plans to become a traveling YouTuber.

Ansley Moore, a junior from Franklin Road Academy, is thrilled to be representing her school at this year’s Poetry Out Loud contest. In her free time, Ansley enjoys working in her school’s theater, both as an actress and behind the scenes, and singing Disney songs to anyone who will listen.

Marquavious Moore, a Harding Academy senior who plays football, runs track, does competitive cheer, sings in the chorus, has a lead in the school musical, and loves to write and recite poetry. This Renaissance man is returning for his second year of Poetry Out Loud competition and will be continuing his academic and football career at Columbia University in the fall.

Phoenix Tarpy, who is quirky and cool.  She is artsy while also being an intellectual.  She stands out as a unicorn in a barn of horses.  She loves the arts and represents our school well in that area!

Jarrod Vetzel,  a junior at Baylor School in Chattanooga. In his years at Baylor, Jarrod has contributed to wrestling, lacrosse, and Model UN/Student Congress, among other activities. Outside of Baylor, Jarrod is a climber—a hobby he was able to share through one of his recitations at the Baylor Poetry Out Loud competition.

Hannah Waters, a junior who enjoys reading dystopian fiction and being artistic. This is her first year competing in Poetry Out Loud. Even though she is quite small, be prepared for an enormous performance.

Emily Weathers, a senior at Farragut High School in Knoxville. She was born in Pasadena, California to Frank and Julienne Weathers. Emily enjoys playing lacrosse for the Farragut Ladies Lacrosse Club and the viola for the Knoxville youth Symphony Orchestra.

Courtney Wilson, an extremely creative young lady in both her written expression and artwork.  She also has a very delightful sense of humor that is both dry and hysterical. Courtney plans on pursuing a career in the field of graphic design after her college graduation.

Come and join these students at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and is free.