Article: Tanque Verde HS Students Take Top Honors at HEAT Optimist Club Oratorical Contest

Tanque Verde HS Students Take Top Honors at HEAT Optimist Club Oratorical Contest

Every year, Mr. Jeremy Samoy, Tanque Verde High School Mock Trial Teacher, partners with the HEAT Optimist Club to hold an Oratorical Contest, usually held at the TVHS Library. This year school closed before TVHS was able to host the contest, however after talking with the Optimist Club coordinator and with his students, Mr. Samoy had three “brave” students volunteer to do the contest digitally. 

Addison Goodman, Emma Kalway, and Briana Ede all wrote personal speeches to address the prompt: Imagine a World without Boundaries. On April 29th, these three students competed in the club level of the competition. They delivered their speeches via Zoom to a panel of judges. It was definitely different for them, having to get dressed up and present to a computer instead of a real audience, but the students did a fantastic job. 

The results of the initial level were: Addison Goodman took 3rd place; Emma Kalway took 2nd place; and Briana Ede won 1st place! 

Emma and Bri then moved on to the Zone Level Competition where they competed on May 12th in another round of competition against two other students from the Vail School District. At that competition Emma Kalway won 3rd place, and Briana Ede won 1st place! Briana will now move on to the state district level competition with a chance to win $2500 in scholarships. 

Mr. Samoy stated, “We are very proud of all of the students who took the initiative to compete in this contest, and who wrote extremely honest and powerful speeches that reflected their struggles living through the pandemic - a world with many boundaries. They spoke about how they are learning to cope with this new reality, to be thankful for the new experiences they have had, and to remain optimistic in a time of uncertainty.”

“Several of the judges mentioned how moved they were by our girls' speeches, and how well they all presented,” added Mr. Samoy. “Last year Karah Mayer, a sophomore in our program, went on to win the state competition, so we are hoping Bri can continue the trend! We want to wish her the best of luck at the next competition!” 

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