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The Pell Public Speaking Competition
The Madison County Education Foundation hosted the Pell Public Speaking Competition on January 25 in the Madison High School Auditorium. The number of entrants—15 in all—was the largest number of student participants ever engaged in this competition.
The first-place winner, Michael Broyles, delivered Harold Ickes’s speech, “What constitutes an American?” Broyles was awarded a cash prize of $700. The second prize was awarded to Ben Butterworth, who delivered Winston Churchill’s speech, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” and was awarded $500. Molly Thomas delivered Nellie McClung’s speech, “Should Men Vote?” She was awarded third prize of $300.
Kevin Nguyen and Eli Priest both gave strong presentations of Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall.” Steven Franklin reprised Martin Luther King’s inspirational, “I’ve Been to the Mountain” address; the speaker was featured at the Martin Luther King Commemoration at the Culpeper NAACP.
Hailey Helm delivered stirring words of Clara Barton’s “Women’s Suffrage Speech,” and Caleb Mayer shared Theodore Roosevelt’s understanding of “Strength and Decency.” Kathy Dyer spoke on “George Washington,” and Maya Powell delivered Hillary Clinton’s “United Nations Women Plenary Session Remarks.”
Samuel Decowski gave renewed energy to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Hannah Gessler showed us Susan B. Anthony’s position in “Women’s Right to Suffrage.” David Miller offered an interpretation of “What Constitutes an American.”
The time-span of these speeches captured one historical landmark after another. Kaitlyn Adams gave John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” and Drake Truman delivered Richard Nixon’s “Farewell Address.
Is public speaking your thing? Have an interest in history? Combine those two and come to the Pell Public Speaking Competition! This contest is open to all MCHS students. Participants will be giving a 5-minute, memorized, historical speech. First place will be receiving $700, and second and third places receiving $500 and $300 respectively.
It’s easy to find historical speeches. Ask your librarian, Google “historical speeches,” check your history books, or Google any subject + speeches to begin your search. Baseball fan? How about Lou Gehrig’s “Good-bye to Baseball” speech? Just Google “baseball speeches.” Are you a Civil War buff? Just Google “Civil War speeches.” It’s amazing how many historical speeches there are.
If the written speech is too long, you many edit it down to five minutes as long you use the writer’s words and keep the speaker’s meaning and intention. When giving the speech, be sure to show the audience the heart-felt emotions of the writer.
Please join us on January 25th at 6:00 to watch these amazing students. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information, please see any MCHS English teacher or call Lynn Young at 540-948-6989.