Severn Secures Several Top Place Finishes at Fall VFW Speech Contests

This fall, Severn students entered three oratorical contests sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW): Loyalty Day, Buddy Poppy, and Voice of Democracy, and secured top-place finishes in each contest. 
All three contests are tiered: post level, district level, and state finalists. State finalists for Loyalty Day and Buddy Poppy include: Jack Kerridge ‘24, Dylan Ulehla ‘24, Iris Benoit ‘24, McKenna Miller ‘25, and Jack Hayman ‘24. 
“Each fall and spring, community organizations offer oratorical contests to spread their messages to high school students,” says Dr. Jackie Baugh, Upper School English teacher and head of the Severn Oratorical Society. “Not only do these contests allow students to practice their speech writing and delivery skills outside of the classroom, but they also provide constructive criticism for students so that they can improve their oral communication competencies.” 
Severn Oratorical Society members had the opportunity to enter into and then prepare for their respective contests, following a certain prompt for each contest. For the Buddy Poppy contest, students had to answer several questions about the history and impact of the Buddy Poppy, and then recite the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Colonel John McCrae. Loyalty Day contestants answered questions about the purpose and importance of Loyalty Day, the American flag and Star Spangled Banner, and then recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Listed below are the winners from each contest: 
Buddy Poppy VFW Post #160
     1st Jack Hayman ‘24
      2nd Erik Maltz ‘24
Buddy Poppy VFW Post # 304
      2nd Grace Gunther ‘25
      3rd  Rebecca Hill ‘25
Buddy Poppy VFW Post #327
     1st McKenna Miller ‘25
     2nd Madison Watson ‘25
     3rd Sean Condon ‘25
Loyalty Day VFW Post #160
     1st Jack Kerridge ‘24
      2nd Brooks Sherrill ‘24
Loyalty Day VFW Post #304
     1st Iris Benoit ‘24
     3rd Jackson Barroll ‘24
Loyalty Day VFW Post #327
     1st Dylan Ulehla ‘24
     2nd Cooper Schwartz ‘24
     3rd Jennifer Gomez-Gallardo ‘24
In addition, Cole Christensen ‘26 took first place at the Voice of Democracy speech contest at VFW Post #160 by speaking about the greatest attributes of our democracy. Congratulations to all of our Severn students for a great showing at their respective contests. 
Up next: Upcoming spring speech contests open to students through Severn Oratorical Society include Sons of the American Revolution, Optimist International, and Rotary International.  

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