Scarsdale Middle School Speech Contest 2019

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On March 28th,  after weeks of preparation under the watchful eyes of their English teachers, many 7th and 8th graders participated in Scarsdale Middle School’s 36th annual speech contest. They competed with other talented students in the categories of poetic interpretation, dramatic interpretation, original oratory, personal experience, declamation, and humor. Upon reporting to their assigned rooms, students presented their speeches twice in front of 2-4 judges, many of which were volunteers from Scarsdale High School’s speech and debate club as well as Scarsdale parents. The contestants then waited until the finalists, and eventually the winners of the contest, were announced. “My favorite part was definitely performing for the school because it made me feel as if my hard work paid off,” said Gali Brass ’23. Once students make it to the finals, their presentation is recorded and if they won their category, the winners then spend a school day presenting their speeches to their peers.

This year’s winners were Gali Brass for declamation, Anushka Kumar ’23 for original oratory, Lola Tirabassi ’24 for humor, Ella Joy ’23 for personal experience, Carly Gelles ’23 for poetic interpretation, and Abigail Underweiser ’24 for dramatic interpretation.

“I think this affected me and got me interested in speech. When I get to the high school, I would love to join speech and debate team,” explained Brass. The speech contest is a great experience because it sets up students for important presentations later in life. Many of last year’s participants recounted that although it may have been one of the most nerve-racking days of their lives, the experience encouraged them to become members of the speech and debate club at SHS.

Alexa Rosenbloom ’22, a member of the Speech and Debate club and a judge at the contest, acknowledged that the contest was what encouraged her to continue the activity in high school and judge the competition. After spending time with other contestants and getting a feel for this kind of competition, the participants are immediately put in a great position to compete with SHS’s speech and debate teams.