By Jeff Armendariz
Community Outreach Chairperson, Santa Clarita Valley Business Group
The Santa Clarita Valley Business group (SCVBG) sponsored its 6th Annual 8th Grade Speech Competition on Nov. 13, with 12 students participating and representing each of the William S. Hart Union High School District junior high schools.
The topic of the speech competition, “If You Could Travel Back In Time To Personally Witness an Event in United States History, What Would That Event Be, and Why?” was thoughtfully and creatively addressed by each student. Arroyo Seco Junior High graciously hosted the competition.
The students were given three minutes to present their speeches and were scored by a judging panel of approximately 25 members of the SCVBG. The speeches given by the students covered periods in our nation’s history from the Salem witch trials to Jackie Robinson and baseball, the first Thanksgiving, Rosa Parks, Patrick Henry and the women’s right to vote.
In the final scoring, the top three presenters were Esi Otoo (Rancho Pico, “The March on Washington / Dr. King”), Ava Francis (Rio Norte, “The U.N. Declaration on Human Rights”), and Hannah Wobrock (Placerita, “Thomas Edison”), who earned first, second and third place, respectively.
While all students earned a certificate for their achievement, these top three students will be presented cash awards and were invited to present their speeches on Nov. 22 at the election breakfast of the entire SCVBG membership at The Oaks Grille (Valencia). Additionally, Rancho Pico Junior High earned this year’s bragging rights to the perpetual trophy awarded to the school whose student earned the overall highest score.
All 12 participating students were amazing and demonstrated a very high level of poise, confidence and maturity in their presentations.
The SCVBG is the largest professional networking group (75 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 annual speech competition in partnership with the William S. Hart Union High 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 support and commitment to this annual fall event.