Bergschneider Returns To State Finals After Win in 2023 Poetry Out Loud Contest

By Jeremy Coumbes on February 11, 2023 at 10:07am

(L-R) Thaddeus Bergschneider, Eliza Denham

A Franklin High School student is heading back to the state finals of a national recitation contest.

Thaddeus Bergschneider of Franklin took first place in the Central Illinois Poetry Out Loud Contest held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield on Thursday afternoon, February 9, 2023. Bergschneider recited from the poem “The Gift” by Li-Young Lee to take the top spot.

Eliza Denham of Eureka High School and Alex DeCroix of Springfield Southeast High School were the second and third-place finishers in the competition. 

Bergschneider and Denham will advance to the Illinois State Contest on March 23rd.  The Illinois State Contest will feature recitations by two students from each Poetry Out Loud region in the state.  The Illinois State champion will advance to the national contest.

More than 1,260 students along with 19 teachers in 8 schools began the 2023 Poetry Out Loud season in central Illinois last fall.