News Post

The Geneva School of Boerne Eighth Grade Oratory Contest is a highlight of the Logic School experience. The competition began in 2007 and has continued annually. Each eighth grader memorizes a piece from a selection of historic poems and speeches and delivers a prepared recitation before a panel of judges. The Oratory Contest is a precursor to the Senior Thesis which students prepare and present at the culmination of their Geneva education.

Geneva eighth graders spent six weeks memorizing and honing verbal and non-verbal elements of a historical speech or poem before presenting to an audience of peers, parents, faculty and judges in the preliminary round. The top 10 speakers advanced to the final round of competition which was held on Monday, March 3, in Geneva’s Lyceum.

First place was awarded to Annabelle Halbach for her delivery of The Perils of Indifference delivered by Elie Wiesel on April 12, 1999 as part of the Millenium Lecture series hosted at the White House. Ray Reynolds finished in second place with his recitation of Jim Valvano’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award acceptance speech delivered at the ESPY awards in 1993. Alexis Oglesby earned third place for her delivery of President George Bush’s address to the nation on September 11, 2001. Other finalists were Mikhail Boespflug, Maebry Caulfield, Madison DeLaune, Allie Gerch, Lilly Jones, Ashley McCollough and Christopher Siller.

“Our Geneva Logic School students take words of wisdom, truth and beauty, spoken by another in a different time, into their hearts and minds. They memorize and recite them with presence and passion, demonstrating in the process the gravity and impact the words still have today. Oratory is an enormous challenge for the students, and each year they learn that they can do hard things. It is our hope that the words take root in the hearts of our students and that they learn the power of persuasive speaking and use it to build the kingdom of Jesus Christ as faithful disciples,” Logic School teacher Deb Herczeg said.

The top finishers of Geneva’s Eighth Grade Oratory Contest are pictured with the judges of the contest. Left to right: Interim Head of School Mrs. Debbie Ledoux, Ray Reynolds (second place), Annabelle Halbach (first place), Alexis Oglesby (third place), Grammar School Headmaster Mrs. Jessica Gombert and Rhetoric School Headmaster Mr. Matt Donnowitz.

Eighth-grader Annabelle Halbach was awarded first place at the 2024 Oratory Contest.