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Students Compete in Fourth Form Public Speaking Contest

Seven finalists competed in Westminster’s fifth annual Fourth Form Public Speaking Contest that was held through a webinar May 6 and viewed by members of the school community, including students in the Fourth Form and Third Form. The Fourth Form finalists were Oscar Ball, Sung Min Cho, Elle Dorrian, Qifei Min, Tatiana Restrepo, Ariel Seidu and Jerry Wang.
The competition is the culmination of the work Fourth Formers completed in their Speech Writing and Public Speaking course they took during the winter trimester. Students could also volunteer to participate in the contest. Nineteen semifinalists were invited to write and present through video original speeches that were reviewed by a panel of eight faculty judges who selected the finalists.
The format for the contest was modified this year to adapt to distance learning and included the finalists delivering their speeches from home during the webinar. Faculty member Todd Eckerson, who is the lead teacher for Westminster’s Civic Engagement curriculum that includes the Speech Writing and Public Speaking course, introduced each of the finalists, following welcoming remarks by Fourth Form Dean Lee Huguley and Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Lisa McGrath.
The speeches were required to touch on a theme from the Civic Engagement curriculum and were evaluated regarding a number of criteria by faculty judges who included Stacy Ciarleglio, Kathleen Devaney, Charlie Griffith, Mary Pat Gritzmacher, Wyatt Prominski, Rebeccah Tuscano-Moss, Peter Ulrich and Greg Williams.
“I would like to applaud all of the semifinalists and finalists,” said Todd. “They did not have to participate in this contest. I consider their willingness to do the extra work involved as a form of civic engagement. In other words, this year’s Public Speaking Contest was not just about pursuing individual distinction but about doing something that provides the Westminster community an opportunity to come together.”
The winner of the contest was Qifei Min, who spoke about self-consciousness.

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