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Competitive English

Poetry for her, though, is more therapy than anything. She said while most people see writing poetry as a hobby, she said it plays a much more important role for her.

"Poetry is like a guidance counselor when I don't have one to call," she said. "Pretty much when I am going through something then I start writing."

Many of the students give a lot of credit to Mostransky and say that he has helped them find their voices. Some of the students said that his open mind has helped them in working with others on a project.

"Mr. Mo is just really awesome," Freshman Amanda Bernier said. "He's just really welcoming, and it's really nice because I'm not really good with group things because I get really nervous, but with a teacher like him it's a lot easier."

And now the program has expanded across district lines as Mostransky said this is the first year the competition has been opened up to the Schenectady schools. Chris Karle, a former English teacher who was covering a long-term replacement at Sand Creek and now a teacher over at Mt. Pleasant in Schenectady, had five students who were writing poetry and wanted to get involved.

But Mostransky is looking to make this bigger. He said he wants to make the event a greater Capital District event. To even try and get teams together from each district and possibly compete in Russell Simmons Def Poetry in New York City.

"I'm looking for any school district that wants to get involved to get involved," he said. "But with that, I have to get people to help me out."

Coming out on top of the Slam Poetry event, Alissa Petsche, a senior, took home first place. Following her were Camadine and Sunny Nowalcki in second place and in third was Ben Quiqley, who performed a poem about the death of his grandmother and how he was able to cope with it.""

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