Everyone in the room ended up a winner. Teachers, principals, parents and judges - including yours truly - heard students speak from the heart about everything from how to talk parents into getting them a puppy to the life of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
In the end Bianca Sanders, who spoke about Rosa Parks, was the fifth-grade winner. She attends Frontier Elementary School. Isabel Gatdula of Regency Park Elementary School and Jade Dang of Sierra View Elementary School were runners-up.
Alexander Grandinetti of Orchard Elementary School was the winner in the sixth-grade category, with his talk on why the United States should curtail space exploration. Saverio Bernardi from Frontier Elementary School and Sidrah Sharif of Ridgepoint Elementary School were the sixth-grade runners-up.
Makaila Sanders of Westside Preparatory Charter School (Frontier campus) was the winner in the seventh-grade category. She spoke about Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The runners up were Haylee Sunderland of Creative Connections Arts Academy and Jack Plummer of Orchard Elementary School.
Eighth-grader Savannah Rossiter of Westside Preparatory Charter School (Westside Campus) was the winner at her grade level for her speech on the horrors of sex slavery. Elise Marshall of the Smythe Academy of Arts and Sciences and Iyawna Anderson of Creative Connections Arts Academy were the runners up.
The contestants had already won multiple classroom and school contests this school year before taking part in the district-wide competition last week.
Photo by Roman Rykun