Poetry contest winners announced

By Observer staff May 20, 2013 02:01 pm
More than 50 students put pen to paper this year to participate in the annual K-12 Poetry Contest. 

The annual contest, which has been conducted at least 11 years, is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in La Grande and Island City.

Sierra Fetterly took first place in the 10th grade to 12th grade category with her poem, “Success.” Lauren Babcock took second place, and Amanda Welch took third.

In the seventh grade to ninth grade category, Cheyanne Turnidge won with her poem, “You Didn’t Come Home.” Turnidge also received the Purple Feather Award, given to the writer of the poem judged to be the most exceptional in his or her grade-level category. Selina Dockweiler took second place, while Tiffany Royes finished third.

Landrey Baum’s poem, “Potato Chips,” earned first place in the sixth-grade division. Nick Tsiatsos took second place, and Baylee Young took third.

“Blue Jeans,” a poem by Maria Smith, took first place in the fourth- to fifth-grade division. Rachel Smith took second and Emma Coulter finished third in the division.

In the kindergarten through third-grade category, Corbyn Sexton took first place for her poem, “Girl.” Tavi Jacobson took second place, and Jasmine Reed took third.

“We are so grateful for the many supporters that make the
La Grande K-12 Poetry Contest possible every year, which include the superintendent, teachers, school secretaries, judges, the parents and the many businesses who sponsor this contest,” said Kathy O’Neal of La Grande, the contest’s director the past 10 years.

1st Place for 10th-12th

Success by Sierra Fetterly 10th Grade

Can you say you know success?

Do you know the pink tint on the cheeks of a blushing bride,

As she walks down the aisle

Embracing with open arms

Her first great success

Do you know the healthy glow

Of a mother soon to be?

With open arms again she meets

Her second great success 

Do you know the age old smile?

Of that blushing mother to be?

Her face has creased with time

Her children are all grown

Her husband laid to rest

Now she faces her last great success

Everything is settled

Planned as it must be

Stashed away sage

In place only family will see

Her last wise words

My success was not measured by time

It was not measured by money

Instead dear children, it was measured by you

You are my success,

Without you money and time would be a waste

For both were just a tool to grow and nurture

My only Great Success


1st Place for 7th-9th 

You Didn’t Come Home by Cheyanne Turnidge 8th Grade

As the brave men leave us,

We weep and say a silent prayer

Our brothers and friends might be lost,

But as you fight to get home,

I will trust you, no matter the cost.

We sing songs of war and peace,

But do we know what it’s like?

We wives an’ sisters will know

If they come back

My friend has sent me many letters

Of how he and his team

Are trying to make the nation better

Do our men only know what it’s like for us?

We women only wishing and hoping,

That loved ones would come home.

Every night we have these dreams,

Of our lover’s cries,

And gargled screams.

A week before you left,

You and your partners made a bet…

That you would come home to me, 

Well it’s been years now,

And I still bring you flowers,

As I gently place them on the cold hard stone,

I think of God sitting on His heavenly throne

My mind runs in a circle,

Then stops to say,

‘I love you,

Even if you didn’t come home that day.’


1st Place for 6th

Potato Chips by Landrey Baum 6th Grade

A Native American determined the gritty,

George Crum, owned a restaurant in New York City.

One night a bold patron with a nit bone to pick,

Complained that his fries were much too thick.

Weary of sending the fries to the back,

Crum swiftly created a snooty, wise crack.

George sliced up the spuds as thin as a dime,

But his joke would back fire in just a short time.

For the patron enjoyed these dainty “new fries,”

Crum received only praise, instead of loud cries.

Millions of dollars were plain there to see,

Chips of potatoes in the land of the free!


1st Place for 4th-5th

Blue Jeans by Maria Smith 5th Grade

Levi Strauss, inventor of jeans,

Came to San Francisco at age seventeen.

Levi was a tailor,

He had a very good touch,

Well, he had to

Since people loved his clothes so much!

Levi stitched tent canvas into overalls,

“Easy to make.” He thought,

“Easier than cake!”

They sold so well,

And they held up so swell!

They were so sturdy,

Could hardly rip.

Levi surely deserved a tip!

But Levi didn’t like this material

It was itchy, and scratchy.

Instead he used a material

From Genoa City, Italy.

The Italian weavers called

This material “genes.”

Levi Simply changed the

Spelling to “jeans.”

Then he dyed them indigo blue,

To help take away the stains,

And it’s pretty too.

Today believe it or not,

Blue jeans are the bestselling pants

In the Western World of the

Whole lot. 


1st Place for K- 3rd

Girl, Pretty, Smart by Corbyn Sexton 3rd Grade


Pretty, Smart

Run, hula hoop, dress up

Woman, grandma, man, grandpa

Wrestle, chase, swim

Fun, handsome