JHS Sophomore Karley Kennedy Wins Optimist Oratorical Speech Contest

Eleven Jamestown High School students participated in the 2018 Optimist Oratorical Contest at the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club. JHS sophomore, Karley Kennedy won first place in the girls’ division, and JHS junior, Grayson Holt placed second in the boys’ division.

The topic for this year’s speech was: “Where are the roots of my optimism?” Each written speech had to be memorized and fall within a four to five minute range. The seven students who competed were sophomores: Karley Kennedy, Grace McMillan, Olivia Ruiz, Ayah Qadri, and Lexi Salvaggio; juniors: Natalie Carlson, Grayson Holt, Sarah Russo, Wyatt Taber, Carley Westphal; and senior, Jaynee Osborne. All are students in Barbi Price’s College Level Public Speaking class at JHS.

Winner, Karley Kennedy said, “The Optimist Oratorical contest was a fun experience. I was excited to compete in a competition outside of school and am really looking forward to the next level of competition in Lockport.”

Mrs. Price remarked, “Participating in this oratorical competition gives my students another chance to craft, memorize, and deliver speeches before a panel of objective evaluators. It’s a valuable “real life” experience, and the representatives from JHS comported themselves beautifully. The judges commented on the difficulty of deciding the winners because all of our students were so poised and polished!”

“Optimism is very important to me and how I live my life, so this speech was a great opportunity for me to express myself,” commented second place winner, Grayson Holt. “Giving this speech got me out of my comfort zone, and I can’t wait to come back and compete next year.”

Karley Kennedy, Barbi Price and Grayson Holt.

Karley and Mrs. Price will travel to Lockport in February to compete at the “zone” level. The ultimate prize is a $22,000.00 college scholarship.

Optimist Clubs are dedicated to “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” and do their part through community service programs. Since each club is autonomous and run by members in their community, Optimists have the unique flexibility to serve the youth of their area in any way they see fit. Optimist Clubs see a need in their community and react to it. For more information, contact Cindy Conner at ccquilter@hotmail.com.