Landmark School Senior, Simon English, Named Winner of the National Gettysburg Address Competition

BEVERLY, MA--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2014) - Simon English, Landmark School senior, delivered the winning rendition of The Gettysburg Address at the first annual competition held at Greenwood School in Putney, VT as part of documentarian Ken Burns' Learn the Address initiative. Thirteen schools from across the U.S. participated in the competition attended by over 250 invited guests including Burns, who recently filmed The Address, a documentary about The Gettysburg Address using footage of Greenwood School students preparing to memorize and deliver Lincoln's most well known speech.

The 13 participating schools all serve students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and ADD/ADHD. Participants from around the country learned the address and sent their top performer to Greenwood School for the first-ever national competition held on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Twenty one students delivered the address and Landmark School's English was named the winner.

Robb Genetelli, Dean of Students at Landmark School, said, "It was such a privilege to be there. You could feel the physicality of the audience being drawn into Simon's words. There was so much meaning in the way he delivered the address. Everyone can connect to something in that speech and we all felt like he was speaking directly to us. His delivery transported the audience to that moment in time when Lincoln delivered the address himself."

English added, "I'm really proud of how I performed. It's almost impossible to believe that four years ago when I arrived at Landmark School as a freshman, I couldn't read. This was definitely one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had."

English will deliver The Gettysburg Address again at premier events in New York City and Washington, D.C. later this month. Burns' newest 90-minute documentary, The Address, will premier on PBS on Tuesday, April 15.

The documentary, The Address, "…uncovers how President Lincoln's historic words motivate and engage these students a century-and-a-half after President Lincoln delivered a speech that would go on to embolden the Union cause with some of the most stirring words ever spoken," as stated on the Ken Burns America web site.

The Learn the Address program, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the address, encourages people to learn the address and video record their rendition of it. The web site features many well-known individuals reciting the address, from Presidents Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, to journalists, and even comedians including Stephen Colbert and Louis C.K.

Landmark School is an independent, coeducational boarding and day school with elementary, middle, and college preparatory high school programs. It caters to students, grades 2 - 12, with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Students possess average to above average intelligence and normal behavioral development. Landmark's mission includes an extensive Outreach Program of Professional Development courses, workshops, and publications for educators, administrators, clinicians, and parents.

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Susan Tomases
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