Bulloch Academy junior Kaylee Sheppard was named a Class AA state champion recently after her performance in the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) state literary competition at Valdosta State University.
Sheppard had actually been awarded fourth place in the Personal Essay event in the March 17 competition. But, when she got her essay back, something caught her eye.
“I didn’t attend the awards ceremony because we had Zone competition in horseback riding and I had to go practice,” said the 17-year old daughter of Bill and Cindy Sheppard. “But the next day, I was looking over the essay and the judges’ remarks and scores. The scores totaled 160 points instead of the 152 that it was given. I checked it again to make sure.”
She had written on the topic, “Elaborate on something that appeared to be an unsuccessful event in your life, yet it developed into something that made you a better person.”
“I took my essay to my Mrs. (Deborah) Carico (one of the literary sponsors) and she checked it over too,” continued Sheppard. “Then we took it to Coach (Clint) Morgan (the Region 2-AA secretary) and he called the state office. As it turned out, I had actually won. I was very excited.”
Sheppard advanced to the state competition by finishing second in the Region 2-AA event, which was held March 9 at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon.
She was one of 14 Bulloch Academy students who advanced to the GISA Class AA State literary competition by finishing either first or second in the region event. At the state level, two were named state runners-up and four finished in third place.
Senior Sarah Brown was named state runner-up in Rhetorical Essay (Analysis of Literary Devices from an excerpt of the play Doubt by John Patrick Shanley). Junior Courtney Burnette was named state runner-up in United States Extemporaneous Speaking (Gun Control). Sophomore Matthew Collins took third in International Extemporaneous Speaking (Climate Control Agreement) and the threesome of senior Anna Foy and sophomores Erin O’Sullivan and Gabrielle Taormina placed third in Girls’ Trio.
In early March, eight students were named region champions by winning their respective events at the Region 2-AA Literary Competition.
Those were Brown in Rhetorical Essay, seniors Ansley Hickman and Mary Katherine Brown in Oral Interpretation-Duo, sophomore Sally Marie Futch in Girls’ Solo, junior Davis Howell in Argumentative Essay, Collins in International Extemporaneous Speaking, O’Sullivan in Oral Interpretation-Humorous and freshman Anna Mallard in Piano.
As a team, Bulloch Academy was the region runner-up in the competition.
In the past five years, the Gators have won two region literary championships and three region runner-up titles and several individual state champions. Bulloch Academy English teachers Deborah Carico and Jillian Perry and Music teacher Sheila McKee are the faculty sponsors of the Literary Team.