District speech contest delivers

Actors’ salaries, older brothers, and speeches were the three winning topics at the 2007 Rainy River District Speech Contest held last Thursday at Robert Moore School here.
Twelve students from eight district schools participated in the annual contest, reciting speeches on various topics to their peers, teachers, principals, and family and friends.
“The purpose of this event is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their oral communication skills,” noted Maureen Ricard, literacy co-ordinator for the Rainy River District School Board and emcee for the evening.
Speeches give the students a chance to practice their reading skills through research, their writing skills through the written form of the speech, and their oral communication skills through the delivery of it.
“Anyone who’s ever delivered a speech knows how nerve-wracking but rewarding it can be,” Ricard added.
“It’s definitely no easy task to undertake public speaking,” echoed Brendan Hyatt, principal of Our Lady of the Way School in Stratton, who spoke on behalf of the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
“The fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of spiders, the fear of the dark, or even the fear of death,” he noted.
Following the introductory remarks, the students took the stage, reciting their three- to five-minute speeches.
Tasha Roth of St. Francis School took first place for her impassioned speech, “Do Actors Make Too Much Money?”
Roth challenged the audience to consider big-name Hollywood actors’ salaries, which usually begin at $5 million per film, with the amount of money a child labourer makes in Africa.
Jillian Bobczynski took second place with her speech entitled “Living with Two Brothers.”
Bobczynski told humorous and touching stories about living with two older siblings, who often cause trouble but with whom she remains very close.
Third place went to Krista Emond of Donald Young School for “Speeches.” She discussed the difficulty in choosing a topic, the nervousness that accompanies them, and some pitfalls students often fall prey to.
For the first time, the judges gave Honourable Mention awards due to the many high-quality speeches.
Honourable Mentions went to:
•Michael Nelson (J.W. Walker School) for his speech, “Broken Bones;”
•Teleah Henry (St. Francis School) for her speech, “Body Image;” and,
•Mitchell Haw (Sturgeon Creek School) for his speech, “Pet Fish.”
The other contestants this year were Nicole Brown (Nestor Falls) with “Teen Drinking,” Melissa Fletcher (Robert Moore) with “Speeches,” Chelsea Carlson (Robert Moore) with “Over-Protective Parents,” Chelsea Mosley (Crossroads) with “Figure Skating,” Carly Pruys (J. W. Walker) with “The Number 23,” and Simeon Firth (Sturgeon Creek Alternative Program) with “Give One Hundred Percent.”
“I thought the speakers tonight spoke on topics of real interest to them,” Ricard said following the judging.
“You should all be proud of yourselves.”
All participants received a certificate and a pen while the first-, second-, and third-place winners each won gift certificates from Chapters.
The speech contest plaque, with the name of the first-place winner (Roth), will be given to St. Francis School to display for one year.
The judges were Lonna Oster, Debby Cousineau, and Ann Anderson while the questioners were Paul Fraser and Dianne DeBenedet.