District Speech Contest Winners Inspire Harmony

2019 District Speech Contest Winners Inspire Harmony
Posted on 03/10/2019
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One at a time, local students took their spot at the front of the packed room and anxiously awaited their cue to begin. The finals of the Chula Vista Elementary School District Speech Contest took place over three days during the week of February 25 with school winners competing against one another for the top prize – two spots per grade in the upcoming TEDxKids@ChulaVista.

Every student came to the finals as the best from their individual school, but now it was time to be judged against the top student speakers from around the District. In total, 135 school-level winners in grades 4-8 were recognized for their outstanding content and delivery.

For the finals, student speakers crafted and presented speeches around the theme of “Harmony,” with each grade focusing on a particular aspect of the theme. Community and service organization leaders, many of whom with personal experience in education, served as judges and selected eight winners, two per grade level for grades 4-6, and one winner each from grades 7 and 8.

The winning students were:

  • Eloise Herrera – Grade 4 – Valle Lindo
  • Healin Lee – Grade 4 – Heritage
  • Chloeline Duque – Grade 5 – Silver Wing
  • Ythaniel Tolete – Grade 5 – Salt Creek
  • Samantha Garcia – Grade 6 – Loma Verde
  • Audrey Sutton – Grade 6 – Hedenkamp
  • Keyla M. Parra Gamino – Grade 7 – Discovery Charter
  • Clarissa Cleveland – Grade 8 – Mueller Charter

The students were recognized at the March 6 Board of Education meeting. They will present their speeches at TEDxKids@ChulaVista, which is scheduled for May 25 at Southwestern College. The group includes a repeat winner. Ythaniel Tolete was the fourth grade champion last year, and delivered a TEDx talk at the inaugural TEDxChulaVista in 2018.

Ythaniel Tolete speaks at TEDx Chula VistaTED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. However, TED events are more than just that! They are about bringing creative ideas from areas of inspiration.
To share this excitement with local communities, the TED organization gives licenses to local groups to produce independent TED events, which are called “TEDx.”

The District Speech Contest winners will receive professional training in preparation of their respective TEDx talks, an incredible opportunity for these talented young people to spread their message of “Harmony” to a world-wide stage.

Speech contest coordinator Antwon Lincoln said this year’s theme was a reflection of the work communities are doing in Chula Vista to create better relationships among peers, neighbors and global neighbors.

“Last year, TEDxChulaVista talks were viewed over 35,000 times on YouTube,” Lincoln said. “We’re excited to share eight more ideas from Chula Vista schools in this year’s event. What gives me encouragement is reading the comments that people have made about elementary students speaking to a world audience.”

CVESD thanks the Rotary Club of Chula Vista for serving as contest sponsor this year. 

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