Heritage Academy hosted its 2018 Modern Woodmen of America Speech Contest on Tuesday, March 27, in the school’s gymnasium. The annual contest encourages elementary and middle school students to develop their critical thinking and public oration skills. The Modern Woodmen of America provides a different contest theme each year. The 2018 theme was “Inventions that Have Improved the Quality of Life."
“I applaud the effort our students put into their research, writing, and presentation of their speeches,” Mrs. Ann Haymes, Heritage Academy headmaster, said. “The results were great.”
Nine speakers from grades 5 to 8 participated in the speech competition. Three place winners and one honorable mention were awarded. The contest winner was awarded to Samuel Wiebking. Second place was presented to Taylor Giles. Third place was received by Madison Laughorn. The place winner’s names are also placed on a school plaque. Bennett Hubbard was recognized with the Honorable Mention award. Each contestant was provided a 2018 Modern Woodmen Speech Contest participation certificate.
“The real prize is in the giving of the speech,” Mrs. Karen Brown, the Heritage Academy contest organizer, said. “Many adults can’t do that.”
Students selected invention topics ranging from personal experience to global impact. Participants and their topics in order of presentation included: Alexandra Smotherman, chemotherapy; Giles, glucometer; David Royster, guns; Hubbard, anesthesia; Sam Hurt, the wheel; Laughorn, DNA Sequencing; Lane Burke, computers; Raegan Dolan, vaccines; and Wiebking, the radio.
Local judges included Kathy Anderson, Corey Young, and Hal Lloyd. The contest judges scored in three areas. These areas included material organization, delivery and presentation, and overall effectiveness. Each speech was required to be at least three minutes long and no more than five minutes overall. Mary Royster was the official timekeeper.
For more than 60 years, Modern Woodmen's School Speech Contest has offered students opportunities to develop skills in clear thinking and public speaking. Students in grades five through twelve in public, private and homeschools are eligible to compete in a Level 1 contest.