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Barron tops speech contest

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“What might have been?”

That’s the question Sturgeon Creek student David Barron pondered during the annual intermediate district speech contest last Tuesday at St. Michael’s School here.

And that question was answered in the form of a first-place trophy and a plaque for Barron, which is now on display at his school until next year’s competition.

“It was about what might have been if I was born a girl. It was humorous,” he said last week.

In the contest for the first time, Barron said it took two-three weeks to prepare his speech, but that all the hard work paid off. “Everyone congratulates me—it feels great,” he remarked.

Taking second place was Riverview student Chantelle Davidson with her speech, “Anorexia,” followed by St. Francis student Katie Lynne Bondett with “Nightmare on Mars.”

“My speech was about how I was living in the future, and what my life would be like,” noted Bondett. She described an adventure, which included a field trip where she meets a monster.

Then, in the narrative, she bumps her head and wakes up to find it was only a dream.

Bondett said she wasn’t nervous at all, given the practice she’s gotten with French speech contests and after participating for several years in the drama categories at the Rainy River District Festival for the Performing Arts.

But that didn’t make placing in the top three any easier. “There was lots of really good speeches,” she noted.

The other 10 grade seven and eight students who made it to the contest by winning at their respective schools included:

•Atikokan High School students Marlys Niskanen (“Horses”) and Lindsey Kerr (“Homosexuality”);

•Our Lady of the Way student Sonya Schulzki (“Love”);

•Crossroads student Rebecca Cornell (“Canada, A Land of Tolerance”);

•J.W. Walker student David Kaun (“Friendship”).

•Robert Moore students Leah Nowak (“Racism”) and Angela Huntley (“Cloning”);

•Donald Young School student Allison Loney (“Equality”);

•Sturgeon Creek Alternative Program student Krysta Hart (“A Common Cold”); and

•St. Francis student Dayna DeBenedet (“Being Accident Prone”).

Each contestant received a medal and certificate for participating. Teachers also were recognized for their hard work in preparing the students with their speeches.

“The speeches were all excellent. There was a great variety,” said Maureen Ricard, literacy co-ordinator for the Rainy River District School Board.

Ricard headed the organization of the event, which she also emceed.

“Some were humorous, some were serious. Some were persuasive, and some were entertaining,” she added. “And some really affected you—I think next year, I’ll have to remember to bring a Kleenex.”

Ricard noted the speeches all addressed the expectations from the writing and oral expression components of the language curriculum.

Walter Rogoza, math and science co-ordinator for the board, and retired principal Joyce Meyers were the questioners. Dr. Jeremy McGuire, teacher Sharlene Gilbert, and speech pathologist Debbie Cousineau served as judges.

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