— On March 19, 18 seventh, eighth and ninth graders from Hall Middle School, Tison Middle School and Weatherford High School Ninth Grade Center competed in the annual Oratorical Contest hosted this year by Hall Middle School. The contest is sponsored by the Weatherford Optimist Club.
This year’s topic was “Why My Voice Is Important.”
Contestants included ninth grade students Carter Gass, Hailey Plusnick, Kate Hanson, Samikshya, Kailin Davis, and Megan Lauderdale.
Tison Middle School contestants included Griffin Bruce, Jake Beaird, Riley Peacock, Maggie Glenn, Cora Cocke and Kaci Jones.
Hall Middle School contestants included Clara Tolleson, Whitney McClelland, Lauren James, Tyler Gray, Thomas Wise and Buddy Martinez.
Since its start in 1928, the Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program sponsored by the Optimist International. The contest is designed for youth to gain experience in public speaking and provide them with the opportunity to compete for college scholarships.
Carter Gass and Kailin Davis took top honors, both receiving gold medallions for their excellent presentations. Silver medallion winners were Griffin Bruce and Lauren James. Bronze medallion winners were Tyler Gray and Megan Lauderdale.
The students were coached this year by Casey Watson, Theatre Arts instructor at HMS; Wendi Andersen, Theatre Arts instructor at TMS; and Linda Williams and Dwayne Smith, instructors and Student Council Sponsors at the NGC. Also, thanks to Ruby McClain, Oratorical Chairperson and counselor at Hall Middle School.
This year’s judges were Pat Hardy, a WISD curriculum specialist and member of the Texas State School Board; Jeane Brunson, Parker County Clerk; and Brad Tibbitts, retired Weatherford College history professor.
At the conclusion of the contest, each judge gave high praises to the students for their creative ideas and excellent speeches.