The Geneva School of Boerne Eighth Grade Oratory Contest is a highlight of the Logic School experience. This competition began in 2007 and has become a tradition in which each student memorizes a piece from a selection of historic poems and speeches and delivers the prepared recitation in front of 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.
After six weeks of memorization and honing verbal and non-verbal elements, 58 Geneva eighth graders presented either a historical speech or poem in front of their peers, parents, faculty and judges in the preliminary round. From this, the top 12 speakers advanced to the final round of competition which was held on Monday in Geneva’s Lyceum.
First place was awarded to Catalina Lozada (shown above in middle) for her delivery of Severn Suzuki’s 1992 Address to the United Nations Delegation on the Environment and Development. Caleb Quitadamo (shown above on right) was second with his recitation of Jim Valvano’s 1992 speech accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Rosie Troyer (shown above on left) earned third place for her delivery of a President Ronald Reagan’s speech from the Brandenburg Gate from 1987. Other finalists were Zoey Briggs, Wyatt Ellerman-Rew, Carlyle Harden, Carter Krug, Cooper Lawson, Nathan Player, Brooke Sachs, Landry Smith and Adelina Vela.
“The students really rise to the challenges this project presents and discover that they can do hard things. Our hope is that memorization of these speeches and poems will plant great words in the minds of students so they can see the power of positive persuasive speaking, helping them grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. This process equips and empowers them to go out into the world prepared to speak boldly for the cause of His Kingdom,” Logic School teacher Deb Herczeg said.