4th Annual 8th Grade “Speech Week” Competition

4th Annual 8th Grade "Speech Week" Competition winners. L-r, Isabella Cuares (Rio Norte Jr. High - 3rd Place), Jocelyn Fernandez (Rio Norte Jr. High - 2nd Place), and Annette Brecko (Placerita Jr. High - 1st Place). Courtesy photo

By Jeff Armendariz, Santa Clarita Contributor


During the second week of November, the Santa Clarita Valley Business group (SCVBG) sponsored its 4th Annual 8th Grade “Speech Week” Competition, with 41 students participating from throughout the William S. Hart School District junior high schools.  The topic of the Speech Competition, “How Does The Music, Art And Culture of My Community Add Value To My Quality Of Life?”, was thoughtfully and creatively addressed by these students during the three preliminary rounds held at Rio Norte, Placerita, and Rancho Pico Junior High.

The students were given three minutes to present their speeches and were scored by judging panels comprised of business members of the SCVBG.  During each of the three preliminary rounds, the top 4 students from each round were selected to advance to the Final Round on November 15, hosted by Rancho Pico Junior High.  The speeches given by the 12 Finalists were scored by the Executive Board of the SCVBG.  In the final scoring, the top three presenters were Isabela Cuares (Rio Norte), Jocelyn Fernandez (Rio Norte) and Anette Brecko, in 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Place, respectively.  While all students earned a certificate for their achievement, these top three students were given cash awards and invited to present their speeches on November 17 at a breakfast meeting of the entire SCVBG membership, held at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.

Needless to say, all 41 participating students were amazing and demonstrated a very high level of poise, confidence and maturity in their presentations.  The parents of each student, as well as each student’s respective school, should take tremendous pride in their achievement during the lengthy competition.

The SCVBG is the largest professional networking group (82 business members) in the Santa Clarita Valley and was established in 2002.  Recognizing the importance of being a good neighbor in the community, the SCVBG began the “Speech Week” Competition in partnership with the William S. Hart School District to support high academic standards, achievement and opportunities for all its students.  The SCVBG is especially grateful to the Hart District Superintendent’s Office for its gracious support and commitment to this annual fall event.

Finalists and judges at the 4th Annual 8th Grade Speech Week Competition. Courtesy photo

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