//LHS junior wins Amazing Shake Competition

LHS junior wins Amazing Shake Competition

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Photo: Sydney Tilt and Dr. Nora Eakin award Caden Powell for winning Lowndes High School’s first-ever Amazing Shake competition.

LOWNDES CO. – A Lowndes High School junior, Caden Powell, has won the first-ever Amazing Shake Competition for the school.


Caden Powell, Lowndes High School junior, won the school’s first-ever Amazing Shake Competition, a contest that places an emphasis on teaching students manners, discipline, respect, and professional conduct.

“By hosting our first Amazing Shake Competition, we hoped to encourage our students to step outside of their comfort zone and discover what they are capable of, even in the most nerve-wracking situations,” says Sydney Tilt, LHS teacher and event co-coordinator.

Through the Amazing Shake, a competition originally created by the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, students were introduced to the nuances of professional human interaction as they used various skills such as how to give a proper handshake, how to provide high-quality answers in interviews, and how to remain composed under pressure.

All participants began their day hoping to make great first impressions on a panel of judges made up of community professionals. They then went through a series of competitions before being narrowed down to the top ten, and later a top five.

In addition to their expected challenges like networking and persuasive speech, students also competed in unique rounds of competition such as pep talks, email etiquette, and planning a vacation that would please family members of all ages.

After an impressive 11 rounds of competition, Kensley Dodson, Mitchell Drain, Kaitlin Hurst, Nicole Taylor, and Caden Powell were named the five finalists. They advanced to the last challenge of the day, a formal business luncheon seated with the judging panel.

Powell says this was the most challenging part of the competition by far.

“I forgot I was being judged at some parts of the meal!” he expressed. “I tried to mirror the etiquette of the judges when I felt unsure, which helped me learn a lot.”

The competition was held on Saturday, March 18, and the winner was not revealed until the live event hosted by event coordinators, Dr. Nora Eakin and Mrs. Sydney Tilt, at LHS on Thursday, March 23, building anticipation.

Powell says he was shocked and proud to hear his name announced as the champion. He was awarded $1,500 and a custom made trophy donated by Winnersville Awards.

“This event would not have been possible without our business sponsors, volunteers, and faculty members who came to help us on Saturday,” says Dr. Eakin, expressing her gratitude.

Dr. Eakin and Tilt invited all of Lowndes High School and the community to watch Powell be awarded through live stream. They encouraged more students to participate next year, and announced that they plan to open the competition to middle schoolers as well. The participants concurred.

“I would one hundred percent encourage students to participate in the Amazing Shake next year, even if you are skeptical at first,” says Powell. “I gained confidence, and built a lot of connections throughout the community, teaching me the importance of networking.”

After high school, Powell has his eyes set on colleges with highly-ranked music programs and plans to earn degrees in music education and composition.

“Caden exhibited great rapport with all judges and his conversations were both insightful and and relatable,” says Lisa Jarvis, Events Director at the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber, after judging the final round. “He also demonstrated amazing intellect and humble confidence.”

Powell feels he is more prepared than ever before to take on these new challenges after participating in The Amazing Shake.