Sunday, February 26, 2017

VUHS Orators and Writers Shine

Every year VUHS students participate in a host of oratorical and writing contests involving local civic organizations including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Daughters of the American Revolution, American Legion, Lions International, and Rotary International. This year was no exception. Congratulations to the following students.

Lions Club International Speak Out Contest theme "New Mountains to Climb" saw competition from both VUHS and Northlands Job Corps. Speaking for seven minutes on the topic were VUHS students Alyse Beauchemin, Sophia Parker, and Brandon Cousino, and NJCC student Sarah Dee Webber. Each speaker was articulate and expressed with words and imagery their own stories and active participation in the lives of others through service. At the end of the contest, VUHS senior Sophia Parker was declared the winner and will compete at the state level in March. (First photo)

The American Legion Oratorical is not for the faint-hearted and asks each student to memorize and deliver a prepared oration on some facet of the US Constitution for 8-10 minutes. Then one of four assigned topics is selected and the student has five minutes to prepare a second address of 3-5 minutes. All in all, it is a total of about 100 hours of preparation, writing, memorization and rehearsal. This year on the local level there were three competitors, Addie Brooks, Alyse Beauchemin, and Mason Charlebois. Alyse was chosen the winner and will represent Post #14 at the divisional and state level in March. Alyse is the current two time defending Legion State Champion. (Second photo)

Competing at the local level of the Rotary International Speech Contest, VUHS students Addie Brooks, Michael Davis, Mason Charlebois and Sophia Parker competed. The theme of the speech was "The Rotary Four Way Test or Growing Community Service". Each student spoke for five minutes about the topic and how they reflected on it. Subjects including the cost of college, direction of education, political polarization, hands and heart, and how to be a light for others were all discussed. At the end of a close contest, senior Sophia Parker was declared the winner and will represent the Vergennes Rotary Mavericks at the district level in March. (Third photo)

Junior Mason Charlebois essay was selected out of over 600 statewide as one of the 20 finalists in the Senator Sanders State of the Nation essay contest. Traveling to Montpelier and participating in a roundtable discussion with the Senator and the other finalists was a highlight of Mason’s year. Mason plans on attending college with a major in political science. (Fourth photo)

The Veterans of Foreign Wars offers two contests for grades 7-12. The first is for middle school students and is an essay based on the assigned topic of “The America I Believe In.” This year’s local winner was Olivia Brooks, a seventh grader at VUHS. Her winning essay was sent on to the state level and the results are not known at this point and time. The high school version of the contest "The Voice of Democracy" was won by Addie Brooks and her recorded essay is currently being judged at the state level.

The American Legion Post #14 has selected Mason Charlebois to deliver the Gettysburg Address in the park this year at the Vergennes Memorial Day festivities.

And a big thank you to Cookie Steponaitis for her coaching and support of these VUHS students.

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