Abbotsford school district hosts public speaking finals

Almost 40 students from Grades 5 to 8 competed in annual event

The Abbotsford school district recently held its public speaking finals featuring 39 students in Grades 5 to 8.

The competition was attended by family, teachers, friends, and administrators, with a panel of judges that included trustees, current and retired administrators, and district helping teachers.

Leading up to the finals, students in 18 elementary and middle schools presented their speeches in their classrooms.

Several students were then chosen to move on to a semifinal event within their own school and, from there, each school chose one finalist per grade to move on to the finals.

Students presented original speeches on a variety of topics, with the top three awarded at each grade level.

The winners (in order from first to third place) were:

* Grade 5: Kai Show, Sandy Hill elementary, with the speech “Screen Time”; Connor Friesen, South Poplar Traditional elementary, “What it Takes to be a Genius”; and Ashley de Kroon, Terry Fox elementary, “Why I Wouldn’t Want to be Famous”;

* Grade 6: Sebastian Ratzlaff, Abbotsford middle, “Teachers vs. Students”; Georgia Kinney, Clayburn middle, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”; and Mira Kayre, Aberdeen elementary, “The Patriots Should Have Lost the Super Bowl”;

* Grade 7: Amsuman Nair, Abbotsford middle, “We are the Hope in this Upside-Down World”; Byron Edwardson, W.A. Fraser middle, “Skateboarding”; and Taylor Carlson, Mt. Lehman elementary, “Differences Between Generations”; and

* Grade 8: Ceilidh Smith, Clayburn middle, “Youtube Careers”; Ishika Sethi, Eugene Reimer middle, “Mental Illness”; and Meeryn Kahlon, Abbotsford middle, “The Brain.”