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Neshaminy senior named Bucks High School Poet of the Year


Cecelia Shine will read from her works Saturday, May 4, at the annual Reading and Celebration in Tyler Hall on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus.

Hailing from Neshaminy High School, senior Cecelia Shine rose to the top of more than 100 entries to be named the 2024 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year, announced officials at Bucks County Community College. The 37th annual contest is part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program administered by the College.

With the first-place finish, Shine wins $300 and will be honored at the annual Reading and Celebration, from 1-3 p.m. in room 142 of the historic Tyler Hall mansion. The event will feature the contest winners, finalists and judges.

Shine’s three poem submissions were titled “one heart too many,” “The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine” and “it might be just a dream.”

This year’s current Bucks County Poet Laureate Tara Tamburello and last year’s Bucks County Poet Laureat Tom Mallouk served as judges and reviewed a strong field of entries from all over the county.

In addition to the winner, the judges also named Jack DeBoyace, sophomore from Central Bucks High School East, as first runner-up. Second runner-up was Kade Booker, a senior from Neshaminy High School. The third runner-up was Olivia Cao, a Central Bucks High School South senior. The three runners-up will also read from their works during the celebration.

The entire competition, including the awards and refreshments, is sponsored by a generous donor, Gary Kephart, originally of Levittown and currently of Fort Collins, Colo. Thanks to Kephart’s generosity, and new this year, each runner-up will receive $100.

The annual Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest is a way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region. To learn more, visit

For more information contact Dr. Ethel Rackin, a Professor of Language and Literature at Bucks and the director of the Wordsmiths Reading Series and Poet Laureate Program.

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