– Press release
Inyo County Superintendent of Schools is pleased to announce that Arianna Pope of Home Street Middle School won first place at the 62nd Annual Inyo County Speech Contest held on March 14th at Jill Kinmont Booth School and sponsored by Coldwell Banker. The second place winner was Grace Griego of Round Valley. Third place went to Jeniffer Velazquez from Home Street Middle School.
Each participating school held their own Speech Contest where one or two winning students were selected to compete in the Inyo County Speech Contest, open to students in grades 6-8. In addition to Griego, 7th grader Kennah Davis also represented Round Valley. Nichole Asher and Steven Mather represented Owens Valley School and Paige Vance represented Big Pine School. At the county speech contest, students were evaluated on speech content and delivery by a panel of four judges.
These seven students representing four schools in Inyo County presented thought-provoking and well-prepared speeches. 50 years later, has American fulfilled the goals set out in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech?” was the topic for the evening. In preparation for the contest, students closely read Dr. King’s famous speech. Most students acknowledged that while American society has come a long way, Dr. King’s dream may not yet be fully realized as evidenced by the rise in hate crimes, use of racial profiling, media backlash, disproportionate unemployment rates for people of color and racial bullying. In the words of Ms. Asher, “[While Dr. King’s] dream is still being realized…with faith, hard work and dedication anything is possible.” Ms. Pope’s speech left the audience with a similar message of hope: “I hope for the many centuries to come there will be racial equality, respect, and compassion towards all, just as Dr. King dreamed fifty years ago.”
Superintendent Terry McAteer shared his perspective on the evening: “This year’s topic was highly engaging. It’s great to see our local students practicing the difficult and important skill of public speaking as they formed an argument surrounding this pertinent topic.“ McAteer and the judges were impressed with the students’ obvious preparation, composure and the overall quality of their speeches. “The judges’ scores were extremely close this year. It was a highly competitive evening and I am extremely proud of all our participants.”
Inyo County Superintendent of Schools would like to offer special thanks to the judges for their time and expertise: Retired teachers Sandy Burns and Scott Hubbard; retired teacher and ICSOS board member Mary Kemp; and former University of Oregon debate champion Gregory McAteer.
ICSOS would also like to express their gratitude to the school coaches for all the time, effort and support they provide to our students: Meghan Fuchs, Vivian Hanson, Kim Klippel and Jennifer Morales.