Students take honors in Tropicana Speech Contest

LABELLE — The 33rd Annual 4-H/Tropicana Speech Contest was held at LaBelle High School on Jan. 21, composed of fourth, fifth and sixth graders.

In the fourth and fifth grade division first place was awarded to Riley Sutton from Clewiston Christian School with her speech titled “Why Yes, I am the Baby.” Second place went to Veana Lewis with her speech titled “My Best Friend.” Veana is a student at Central Elementary School. Jackson Mann of Eastside Elementary School achieved third place with his speech titled “Lake Okeechobee.” Ansley Story of Clewiston Christian School took honorable mention with her speech titled “A Short Story.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Elementary school winners of the Tropican Speech Contest (from left to right) were Russhelle Lee, Riley Sutton, Veana Lewis, Hannah Hajomar, Jackson Mann, Izaih Kirk, Ansley Story, Aalizah Meyer, and Annabeth Paige.

The Judges Choice Awards in the fourth and fifth grade division were awarded to the following speakers: Most Humorous Award went to Veana Lewis (CES), Izaih Kirk (Westside Elementary School) received the Most Educational Award, Aalijah Meyer (Country Oaks Elementary School) was honored with the Most Original Award, Best Presentation of a Serious Issue was awarded to Annabeth Paige (CCS) and Most Inspirational went to Hannah Hajomar (COES).

In the sixth-grade division LaBelle Middle School’s Kaleb McLymont captured first place with his speech titled “Strive for Improvement not Perfection.” Second place was awarded to Yara Ramadan of Clewiston Christian School with her speech titled “The Smallest Things That Make the Biggest Impact.” Placing third was Jace Vallejo of Clewiston Christian School with his speech titled “It Stinks Being the Only Boy.” Awbrey Lopez of LaBelle Middle School took honorable mention with her speech titled “Left Handers.”

The Judges Choice Awards in the sixth-grade division were awarded to the following speakers: Most Humorous Award went to Emily -Victoria Walker (CCS), De’ Mariana Martinez (Clewiston Middle School) captured the Most Educational Award, Awbrey Lopez (LMS) was honored with the Most Original Award, Yara Ramadan (CCS) with the Best Presentation of a Serious Issue and the Most Inspirational Award went to Kaleb McLymont (LMS).

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Sixth grade winners of the Tropican Speech Contest (from left to right) were Kaleb McLymont, Yar Ramadan, Jace Vallejo, Awbrey Lopez, Emily-Victoria Walker, and De’ Mariana Martinez.

The winners of the speech contest received a wooden plaque containing the 4-H/Tropicana Speech emblem sponsored by Tropicana Products, Inc. In addition to the plaques, first through third place winners were awarded cash awards in the amounts of $30, $20, and $10, respectively, sponsored by Hendry County 4-H. Furthermore, the first-place winners received a scholarship to attend 4-H Camp Cloverleaf in Lake Placid, June 15-19, sponsored by Tropicana Products, Inc. The winners of the Judges Choice Awards received trophies sponsored by Hendry County 4-H.

To all the speakers, you did a fantastic job in presenting your speeches. To the school coordinators and teachers involved with the 4-H/Tropicana Speech Contest, you did an outstanding job in preparing your students for the school contest as well as for the county contest. Furthermore, thank you parents for getting your child to the competition and all the help you gave them. Many thanks to Ms. Jessica Bechtel, Mrs. Jennifer Cosby and Dr. Mongi Zekri for taking time from their busy schedules to serve as official judges. Finally, thank you to our sponsor, Tropicana Products, Inc., for making this event possible as well as the Hendry County School Board for allowing the contest to be held at LaBelle High School.

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