Paige Allen, a Wyoming Seminary freshman from Mountain Top, won the school’s 2014 Oratorical Contest held recently on the Upper School campus. Her speech, presented to the entire student body, described the process to become an organ donor and advocated for the value of organ donation to society.
Sophomore Richard Hughes of Mountain Top and junior Joseph John Simons of Kingston also competed in the contest. Hughes discussed the adverse affects of waterboarding as an information gathering technique and recommended that investigators work to develop a rapport with terrorists when working to obtain information. Simons argued that forcing democracy on other countries is counterproductive and the United States would be better served to allow other countries to determine their own forms of government.
The three students were chosen as finalists from a field of 12 students who responded to the invitation to prepare 10-minute persuasive speeches under the direction of Ivy Miller, Upper School librarian and public speaking teacher. A team of four faculty judges scored the students on their delivery, stage presence, logic in argumentation and strength of supportive evidence.
Sem has held the Oratorical Contest for more than one hundred years. The annual competition tests students’ abilities to research and argue an issue with reason and conviction.