Three students competed on May 11 in a cherished school tradition, Ninth Grade Speech Finals.
The finals are a hallmark of Norfolk Academy's speech program. Students make persuasive speeches of about seven minutes, to the faculty and entire Middle School student body. This year, with Academy taking safety precautions amid the pandemic, speeches were still made in Price Auditorium but were seen via Zoom in classrooms.
In all, 120 students delivered speeches over the course of the year. They called on their peers to make changes to better their own lives and the world as a whole, said Trish Hopkins, Assistant Middle School Director.
Introducing the finalists, Mrs. Hopkins called on students to listen and be inspired. “They will ask us to be better people," Mrs. Hopkins said. “They will ask us to create a better world."
Mrs. Hopkins also recognized English Teacher Liz Staub, who directs the Ninth Grade Speech Program.
The three finalists were:
- Lizzie Adams, whose speech was titled Paid Parental Leave: Investing in Families
- Ann Gray Golpira, whose speech was titled The Benefits of Boredom: Why Not Only Boring People Get Bored
- Lily Stockwell, whose speech was titled 'Serve and Protect' is the police force’s motto. It's time to live up to that ideal
The winner will be announced at Ninth Grade Awards on May 20.
The judges for the finals were Leo Kamer '21, who won the Ninth Grade Award in 2018; Price Hall '02, Co-Director of the Batten Leadership Program; and Grayson Bryant, Assistant Headmaster for Development.
In addition to the finalists, several Distinguished Speakers earned recognition: Sam Bibeau; Kaiya Burnell-Grant; Yasmin Danso; Katie Fernandez; Srivi Hathwar; Zoë Jones; Sydney Joynt; Madison Kay; Holden Nelson; Mack Panko; Gretchen Scott; and Natalie Tajan.
Congratulations to all!