Senoia Optimist Club Announces Oratorical Contest Winners

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Pictured above: Senoia Optimist Club’s President and contest MC Tony Bell (far left), and Club Secretary and Oratorical Chair Jean Cotton (far right) are shown with the winners – Avery East, Callie Beth Steward and Katie Nicole Geeter – of the Oratorical Contest.

From Special Reports

Avery East, Callie Beth Steward and Katie Nicole Geeter were winners in the 2021-22 Oratorical Contest sponsored by the Senoia Optimist Club on March 3.

The Oratorical Contest is one of three opportunities for college scholarship awards and has been an annual event throughout the entire Optimist International organization since 1928. The Senoia Optimist Club sponsored the 2021-22 local speech contest at the I-58 Mission facility south of Senoia.

First place awards (a gold medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize) were presented to Eastside Elementary School fifth grader Avery East. Second place awards went to Callie Beth Steward, an 8th grade student at Lee Middle School. Both Avery and Callie are participating in the Zone Level contest on Saturday, March 12, in LaGrange, GA. They will be competing against other contest winners from LaGrange, Columbus, and Pike County and will hopefully advance to the Optimist District level.

Third place honors in the Oratorical Contest went to Katie Nicole Geeter, a sophomore from East Coweta High School. Others in the contest included 8th grader Alevia Young from Lee Middle School, and Charles Ratliff, Nolan Davidson, Raya Bearden, and Braden Cobb – all students of Ms. Coreen Baldwin from Eastside Elementary. Each speaker received a framed Certificate of Participation.

Contest information and applications were shared with elementary, middle, and high schools in the eastern half of Coweta County at the beginning of January 2022. Some teachers presented the public speaking opportunity as extra credit or as a scholarship opportunity. Others used class time for students to research, write, and practice formal speaking. This year’s topic was “Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times,” and participants were required to prepare a four-to-five-minute oral presentation supporting the topic.

Family members, teachers, administrators, and Optimist Club members gathered at 6:30 p.m. to support the eight speakers who ranged in age from 9 to 16. Three separate judges had score sheets to evaluate the speeches on Poise, Content, Delivery and Presentation, and Overall Effectiveness. Points could also be deducted if the speech was too short or too long.

Information for both the Optimist Essay Contest and Oratorical Contest each year can be found on Optimist International’s website at https://www.optimist.org/member/scholarships1.cfm. Parents and teachers can also follow the Senoia Optimist Club’s Facebook page for information on both local contests beginning in October 2022.

If you would like to learn how you can help the Senoia Optimist Club with a fundraiser or a service project that serves the area youth or the community, please email the club at [email protected]. or visit its Facebook page (“Senoia Optimist Club”).

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