Sophomore Orators Speak About Need for Change


The 37th Annual Sophomore Oratory Finals were held on the morning of Tuesday, January 17 in the Ceres M. Horn Theatre. Hosted by Master of Ceremonies Ian M., the compelling speeches were part of the overarching theme, It’s Time for a Change. Narrowed down from a field of 21 semifinalists, the five finalists addressed the following topics:

  • Anaiya D. - The Beauty Industry and the Media
  • Jonathan H. - Vaccination
  • Lucy R. - Rape Culture
  • Jada S. - Whitewashing
  • De’Angelo T. - Racial Profiling

The winner and runner-up of the Oratory Finals will be announced at an assembly on January 25. This year’s judges were history teacher Daryl Burch, English teacher Laddie Levy, and the 2016 Oratory winner Ellie S. ‘18.

The Sophomore Oratory Program is the culmination of weeks of work by the tenth graders. They select and research a topic that is important to them and spend many hours crafting a six-minute persuasive speech. The students deliver their speeches publicly for the first time during their English classes, and their peers select one orator from each class to advance to the semifinals. During the semifinal round, judges evaluate the classroom winners based on the quality of their arguments and the style of their delivery. The five finalists and the Master of Ceremonies are chosen from this group.

Many powerful statements were made by the sophomores during their presentations. One of the most memorable was from De’Angelo T. who, referencing the adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” said, “Don’t judge me by the color of my cover because you don’t know my story.”

Pictured (left to right) De’Angelo T., Anaiya D., Jada S., Lucy R., Ian M., and Jonathan H.


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