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The five students pictured here, with Rotarian Terry Johnson, right, are the five contestants at the 2020 Rotary Speech Contest on March 3. They all displayed courage, thoughtfulness and superior communication skills as they presented their speeches pertaining to the subject of “Making Connections as We Create Lasting Change.” From left are Leigh-Anne Cook, Elizabeth Foos, Emmalie Foos, Aidan Foos, Mason Ivey and event coordinator Johnson. All five are from St. Andrews Academy in Chester. Photo by Gregg Scott

Five vie for awards at Rotary Speech Contest

Attendees at the Chester Rotary annual speech contest March 3 were treated to several well thought-out presentations by five local high school students.

The main idea behind the oratory competitions is to encourage students to build and hone their communication skills for use in their individual futures.

Benefits of participating in the competition include learning how to prepare and present a speech, being at ease and confident in front of an audience, and being able to share information on any given subject.

Feedback from participating students indicate that they feel better prepared for college interviews or other times when they need to make a good presentation.

The event is open to all students in grades nine, 10, 11 and 12 from any local recognized school and is also open to students schooled at home in a program recognized by their school district or the State of California.

This year all five of the students that entered were from St. Andrews Academy, including ninth-grader Elizabeth Foos, juniors Leigh-Anne Cook and Emmalie Foos, and seniors Aidan Foos and Mason Ivey.

This year’s subject theme was “Making Connections as We Create Lasting Change.”

The presentations were limited to at least five minutes, but not more than seven minutes.

Event coordinator Terry Johnson randomly drew names to determine the order of the student speeches.

Each student was judged on eight different areas of delivery, including organizational development, effectiveness, speech value, appearance/body language, voice flexibility and volume, mannerism, appropriateness and correct grammar and pronunciation.

Then with the judges and timer in readiness, the five students proceeded to individually offer their thoughts on the assigned subject.

The alertness of the audience definitely indicated that each talk was worth listening to.

At the end of the evening when all the judges scores were tallied the final results were as follows: first place ($100) was awarded to Emmalie Foos, second place ($75) went to Mason Ivey and Aidan Foos received $50 for third place.

The Rotary Club of Chester offers congratulations to all five contestants for all their dedicated efforts.

St. Andrews Academy’s again hosted the event at their facility in Chester.

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