WALDOBORO — On the morning of April 12, Medomak Valley High School held its annual Philbrook Speech Competition, an event that highlights and rewards students who have taken a position on a topic, supported it with research, and urged their audience to a call to action.
This year’s competition of 21 students, coordinated by the English Language Arts Department, started many years ago with a bequest of money from the Philbrook family, but has continued in recent years because of another generous bequest of Conrad and Louise Ulbrich, in an effort to support and encourage MVHS students to aim high and achieve in public speaking. Three judges from the community — Mrs. Susan Campagna, Mrs. Sandra O’Farrell, and Ms. Wilhelmina Ulbrich, — spent the morning scoring student speeches of 3-5 minutes in length.
Top speakers will receive $500 for 1st place; $300 for 2nd place; and $200 for 3rd place.
This year’s winning speeches were by Christopher Harris, 1st place (about the need for more respect and civility); Noah Morris, 2 nd place (about the need to curb wastefulness); and Elias Pluecker, 3rd place (about the need to support farm laborers in Maine).
Three students were also recognized as Honorable Mentions: Kelsey Payson (the performing arts); Anna Weber (eating disorders); and Liam Wilson (participation trophies).
“The English Language Arts Department congratulates all speakers on their hard work and commitment to continue this very worthwhile tradition,” said Medomak Valley High School, in a news release.