Students from grades 11 and 12 participated in the annual MVHS Philbrook Speech Competition held in the Ronald E. Dolloff auditorium April 3.

Students spoke on speech topics of their interest and passion to persuade and call to action an audience of their peers, teachers, parents, and special guests.

Having worked on mastery of persuasive essay and speech delivery in their English classes, students were then selected to participate in the school-wide contest. This year, 17 students represented their classrooms delivering speeches that ranged in topic from ethnic diversity in fashion modeling, to the value of the SAT in predicting college success, to the need for increased awareness for teenage depression.

Members of the MVHS ELA department organized the event which is named for the Edward Philbrook family of Waldoboro, whose support of public speaking at the former Waldoboro High School led to a bequest of the original prize money. This year’s awards are provided by former MVHS English teacher, Wilhelmina Ulbrich through the Konrad Ulbrich Memorial Fund.

Aaron Smeltzer was the winner, collecting $300; Cayla DeMaria won $100 for second place, Brittini Gracie placed third and was awarded $50.

Jeannie Trueman and Kristi Severson received honorable mention in the competition.

Judges for the event were community members Steve Cartwright, Anne Kennedy and Scott Barbour.