From Kirby the Hermit Crab to Dakota the Poodle, from Florida’s Gatorland to television’s Sesame Street, the young speakers at the 2012 Iroquois Public School Speak Off entertained judges, teachers, family members and their fellow students with some outstanding speeches on Monday, March 5.
“The eight finalists in our gym were chosen from their individual classroom competitions,” said teacher/organizer Margaret Phifer. “It was definitely tough for grades four to six teachers to choose those finalists because all the classes had some great speeches. This has been an amazing competition.”
This year, after a hiatus of some years, the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 370, Iroquois, is once again involved in elementary school public speaking.
“It is wonderful that we are participating with the Legion again,” Phifer said, “that they are becoming involved with our young speakers.”
This year’s first place finisher was Katie Buter, whose speech, complete with actions and singing, was based on the enduringly popular children’s show, Sesame Street. Katie will be going to the Legion semi-finals competition in March. She and second place finisher, Darci Dodge, the proud owner of Kirby the Crab, will both present their speeches at Winchester Public School for the South Dundas Family of Schools in April. Third place finisher was Dana Domanko, who shared a wealth of information on a sticky subject, Gum.
Judges for the event were retired IPS teachers Bob Dolan and Gail Burrell, while Maurice Kolff, represented the Iroquois Legion.
At the medals presentation, judge Dolan congratulated all the participants on the tremendous amount of time, energy and effort they all put into writing, practicing and memorizing their speeches. He also told them that it took real courage to be able to get up and speak before a large audience, and he reminded them to always stay passionate about what they are doing.