Students place in Forensics Tournament Lower Division

This year’s Robert S. Sergeant Independent Schools Forensics Tournament Lower Division looked a little different for students looking to prove their communication skills through speech-making and oral presentation. Yet that didn’t stop three of our Oaks from placing in the competition. Congratulations,
  • Makenzie H. ’28 placed second in Girls' Poetry for “Edwina the Emu,”
  • Taylor N. ’28 placed third place in Girls' Original Oratory for “Equality for Women in Sports,”
  • Samuel R. ’29 placed second in Boys' Storytelling for “The Loud Family”

The oratory portion of the competition asks students to write and recite a persuasive speech; poetry requires students to recite a poem; the prose portion looks for students to read an excerpt from a novel, and storytelling requires students to perform a story for the audience. Students are then judged on a variety of oral communication skills.

How did this year’s competition vary from past competitions?
Before COVID, the competition was hosted at a selected school and students would compete in person. This year, the participating schools were permitted to submit recorded entries for two boys and two girls for each category.

Paige Ford, former upper school social studies chair, worked with students and parents through the process of selecting a piece and practicing with them through Zoom meetings before the competition.

Makenzie chose her piece in homage to her mom.

“My mom lived in Australia, and I love it, and I miss going to it,” she said. She practiced a lot and was surprised when she found it got harder the more she practiced. However, “I was too speechless when I found out I won,” she said. As a congratulation, she and her mother went to pick out a plant.

“I got two aloe vera plants,” she said. As for forensics, “people should try it and face fear,” Makenzie said.

Samuel picked a piece that was a little shorter “so I could memorize it,” he said. “Once I did that, I started working on my movements, which included a lot of stomping and hand gestures.”

When asked if he thought he could have done anything better, he said, “I think I did pretty good.”

Taylor was inspired to address equality in women’s sports by her brother and sister’s baseball teams and women’s soccer team.

“There is a team called the ‘Aces’ and the girl ‘Aces’ has to be called the ‘Lady Aces,’ but the boy ‘Aces’ just get to be the ‘Aces.’ And then the women’s soccer team is paid less than the men’s soccer team, but they play more games and win more of them, yet still receive less pay.”

It was also Taylor’s first attempt at forensics, and she loved it.

“I liked writing my speech and doing all of the research about it,” she said. “It was fun.”

As for next year, she’s thinking about taking up storytelling.

Congratulations to all our Oaks who practiced and gave their best!

Middle/Upper School Campus

Lower School Campus