Katonah- It was the day before the long holiday break and that meant it was time once again for everyone at The Harvey School to gather for the annual Wells Speech Contest. Fifteen finalists were ready Thursday in the Lasdon Theater to present their originally-written speeches, and when the event concluded, a sixth-grader and an eleventh-grader walked away with trophies.
Elizabeth Mahony of South Salem was selected the winner of the Middle School competition for her speech on “Being the Youngest.” Junior Charlotte Wittmann of Cortlandt Manor won first place among the Upper School contestants for her speech called “An Abundance of Love.” Honorable Mentions went to two Upper School students, Goldens Bridge resident Peter Pappalardo, a freshman, who offered his “Guide to Knowledge” and sophomore Shelby Moore who delivered a speech called “To Be Sincere.”
The annual speech contest involves all of the Harvey students in grades six through 12. Their teachers select the finalists whose speeches are scored by three judges who determine the winners in both the Middle School and Upper School.
This year’s Master of Ceremonies, English teacher Tim Halewicz, reminded the audience that the aim of the school-wide speech contest is to allow students to voice their views. “Our student body is filled with fresh ideas on virtually every key issue in society today,” Halewicz said. “We should respect the perspectives of children, and that is exactly what we do each year with our speech contest.”
This year’s judges were Reverend Dr. Paul S. Briggs, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Bedford Hills, Peter Beardsley of South Salem, the former Director of Special Services for the Katonah-Lewisboro School District, and Jane Petty of New Rochelle, past president of the Harvey School Parents’ Association and current member of the school’s Board of Trustees