After 30 seconds of think time, Isfeld student Ethan Glenwright walked away with first place in the extemporary category at Comox Valley Students Speak.
He was one of the many students to win bursary money towards his post-secondary education at the sixth annual School District 71 public speaking competition April 25.
His topic, Wonder, allowed him to discuss its relevance to human development and social growth.
“As soon as I pulled the topic I thought about building Thomas the Tank Engines, and wonder of childhood, and how we lose that as we age,” said Glenwright. He added he had fun with the experience, but admitted it was “nerve-wracking.”
Master of ceremonies and Puntledge Park Elementary principal Kevin Reimer, along with all the judges, offered feedback to students after they spoke, making the day both fun, educational, and financially rewarding. Students also had the opportunity to hear a moving and passionate keynote by award-winning actor, playwright and director Kymme Patrick who spoke on the Power of Voice, after losing hers to cancer treatment recently.
Second place in the Extemporary category went to Liam Gallway from Highland, and third place went to Kristen Bystrom from Isfeld.
In the Performance Arts category, where students recited a memorized monologue or poem, Isfeld’s Christian Taylor tied for first place with Vanier’s Emily Bryant. Third went to Vanier’s Cierrah Gibbs.
In the traditional speech category Highland’s Madison Goodspeed’s speech on volunteering took first place, while Isfeld took second with Thomas Andrew’s speech on how one’s voice is awe-inspiring yet frightful. Third place went to Isfeld’s Lean T’ien who spoke on the power of being in engaged in your school life.
Ted Talk-style speeches finished the day, and Vanier’s Celina Hambly talked about Fandoms garnering first place while Isfeld’s Samm Merrick talked on how women are portrayed in the comic book industry and won second place. Third also went to Isfeld with Megan Rutledge’s talk on the origin of music.
“This year the contest has expanded. As interest increases every year, we’ve found new ways to give students a voice,” says Isfeld teacher sponsor Jodie Zuccato. “It was amazing to see all the talent and courage.”
Top prizes in each category garners $300, while second prize takes home $200, and third prize takes home $100.
Marion Carmichael, who began this bursary on behalf of her late husband (a Toastmaster) Dr. David Carmichael has worked hard to involve the business community in keeping the fund alive and growing, and the top award for Ted Talks was presented and supported by the Courtenay Kiwanis Club.
— School District 71