Medomak Valley students take part in speech competition

Apr 06, 2018
Courtesy of: Lisa Genthner Gunn Recognized for excellence in public speaking in the Philbrook Speech Competition at Medomak Valley High School were, from left, front: Joseph Horowitz, second place; Elizabeth Flanagan, first place; and Lydia Simons, third place; rear: Madelyn White, Noah Munn, Sophie Cohen and Elly Shelmerdine, who all received honorable mentions.

Waldoboro — On the morning of April 5, Medomak Valley High School held its annual Philbrook Speech Competition, an event that highlights and rewards upperclassmen who have researched and taken a position on a topic and urged their audience listeners to a call to action.

This year’s competition of 19 students, coordinated by the English Language Arts Department, started many years ago with a bequest of money from the Philbrook family, but has continued in recent years because of another bequest from Conrad and Louise Ulbrich, in an effort to support and encourage Medomak students to aim high and achieve in public speaking. Three judges from the community — Mrs. Susan Campagna, Mrs. Claire Riser and Mr. Nick Lapham — spent the morning scoring student speeches of three to five minutes in length.

Top speakers receive $400 for first place; $200 for second place; and $100 for third place. This year’s winning speeches were by Elizabeth Flanagan, first place (about the importance of following one’s passion); Joseph Horovitz, second place (about not arming schoolteachers); and Lydia Simmons, third place (about the importance of creating a cultures class to inspire tolerance).

Four students were also awarded honorable mentions: Sadie Cohen (about the need for a volunteer/community service high school requirement; Elly Shelmerdine (about the impact of sexual assault); Noah Munn (about the dangers of solitary confinement in prison); and Madelyn White (about the importance of public speaking).

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