Thursday, June 23 2022

On Saturday, January 29, students from across Leon County competed in the 36th Annual 4-H Public Speaking Contest.

This contest, formerly known as the 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest, was held at the UF/IFAS Leon County Extension Office. Special guest Matt Mohler of Florida Power and Light, the contest’s newest sponsor, was on hand to present prizes and encourage the youngsters.

Individual class winners move on to the grade level before entering the county competition. Thirty-five winners from 25 schools had the chance to present their speech to a panel of judges on January 29. Students choose their own speaking topics, which should be original and related to the student’s interests.

This competition is the third stage of a public speaking education program conducted by Leon County Schools and administered by Leon County 4-H. Two separate competitions were held, the elementary school competition for 4th/5th grade and the middle school competition for 6th grade.

First-place contest winners from both contests will have the opportunity to advance to a district-wide contest on April 23 in Wakulla County. First place winners also receive a scholarship to attend a Leon County 4-H summer day camp.

The 4-H public speaking program began in 1969 in Manatee County, the location of the contest’s former sponsor, Tropicana. In 1986, Leon County became the first county in North Florida to participate in 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking. More than 2,500 Leon County students participated in the program this year.

More than 125 Leon County teachers have served as 4-H public speaking project leaders.

This educational program aims to give students experience in preparing and delivering a speech, while instilling confidence and poise. The program teaches students how to communicate effectively, a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Elementary School Competition Results (Grade 4/5)

Kinsley Lock, 1st, North Florida Christian, If I Was Manager

Chloe Nolen, 2nd, Holy Comforter, War Eagle

Michael Gallon3rd, J. Michael Conley, The Magical City We Call Miami

Bleakley Shettle, 4th, Maclay School, a delayed train can change everything

Results of the college competition (6th year)

Ian Souva, 1st, Trinity Catholic School, Monsters

Caleb Pie, 2nd, Christian community, exceptional birds

Jake Askey, 3rd, Christ Classical Academy, If Dinosaurs Lived Today

Mallory VanLeuven, 4th, Raa Middle School, craziest car ride

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