So impressed is the Frederick G. Smith Secondary School with the growth of its speech competition that teachers there are now looking at the possibility of initiating a northern contest.
Coordinator Shannel Pooler said over the past nine years they have seen the growth in both the number of students entering as well as the development of those entering.
She singled out student Malik Roach, whom she said while he had not placed in the finals, the fifth former had entered every year since first form and this year had delivered a two-page speech to impress both the student body and the adults present.
“It was impressive to see his content had improved and he was able to deliver two pages of speech. He has always been a shy boy, but he has improved so much, and it is students like him that you can see the development that makes it worthwhile,” said Pooler.
She said as well that they used students who had won the competition and gone on to do well as inspiration for others, as they had two past parish ambassadors and an executive member of the Emerging Global Leaders as previous winners.
This year, the juniors presented on the topic Black History Should be Taught in every Primary and Secondary School. It was won by Cherese Richards, while Renisa Beckles and Nikia Slater placed second and third respectively.
Presenting on the topic Our School is Adequately Preparing Us for the World of Work, Jane Small beat out the competition in the seniors category to take home top spot, ahead of Reanna Broome and Khadisha Baker.
So keen was the competition, the English teacher noted that they had 18 rounds of preliminaries to choose the top five students in each category.
“The interest has grown over the years … and we definitely recognise a change in the children who enter and we try to encourage them now that they have entered to use their voice for something positive.
“We were so impressed that next year, the 10th year, we are hoping for something bigger. Leslie Lett, who is the head of department has even suggested that we have a northern competition where we challenge the other schools and we hope to bring that to fruition next year,” said Pooler. (LB)