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The winner of the 2017 Oratorical Contest, Abby S.


Public speaking is an important social skill that can be acquired through practice at an early age. The more opportunities a student has to develop this skill, the more comfortable and proficient they will be later on in life. To help facilitate this process, IHMS offers students in the upper grades two different public speaking opportunities:

 …… 1. Debate Club, which is an optional extra-curricular activity open to grade 7 and 8 students only. Students in the Debate Club have the opportunity to enter several different tournaments throughout the year. For the 2016 – 2017 school year, it was organized and run by a former IHMS student, Mr. A. Konopelny.
2. The Oratorical Contest, which is a mandatory assignment for all grade 6-8 students. Each student is required to deliver a 2-3 minute speech to their classmates on a preselected topic. The Oratorical Contest is an annual event typically scheduled around the middle of May.


All grade 6-8 students are required to participate in the Oratorical Contest. Each speech is evaluated by the classroom teacher and used as a part of the student’s ELA mark. The preselected topics for each grade were as follows:

  • Grade 6: My Interests / Activities
  • Grade 7: The Advantages of Attending a Private School
  • Grade 8: What I Plan To Do In The Future
….. group


After each student delivered their speech to the rest of the class, they were given a mark by their teacher, and the six best speakers were selected as semi-finalists. These semi-finalists recited their speeches for a second time to a pair of judges, and the six are reduced down to 3 finalists. These finalists become contestants in the Oratorical Contest for their grade.


The nine contestants arranged in their speaking order


The Oratorical Contest is sponsored by a defunct organization called the Fidelity Club which has been providing prize money for more than 20 years. The prizes are:
  • 1st place:  $100 scholarship and a trophy
  • 2nd place:  $ 75 scholarship
  • 3rd place:  $ 50 scholarship


This year, the 23rd annual Oratorical Contest was held on Wednesday, May 17 in the school gym. The finalists for each grade were:

Grade 6 Finalists

Anton A. Bo S. Nicholas W.

Grade 7 Finalists

Brooke B. Jade D. Donovan M.

Grade 8 Finalists

Ashlynn A. Myles C. Abby S.



These nine finalists were selected the previous week in order to give them enough time to memorize and perfect their speeches. They practised in front of each other and were given constructive advice and feedback by the supervising teachers. This helped to improve the overall quality of their speeches.



The judges for this year’s Oratorical Contest were:

  • Mr. I. Fil, the school’s custodian*
  • Mr. P. Trochanowski, the school’s vice-principal
  • Ms. D. Bacon, IHMS’s educational assistant
  * Note: this is Mr. Fil’s 16th consecutive year as a judge





Each of the nine contestants presented their speech in the school gym in front of the grade 5-8 students, their teachers, and the three judges. Mr. Picklyk was the MC for the Oratorical Contest.



The contest began just after 9:00 a.m., and by 9:45 a.m., it was over. The students were dismissed back to their classes to allow the judges time to make the difficult decision of selecting the top three contestants. It took the judges over half an hour to make this decision! Everyone reconvened in the gym at 10:30 a.m. to hear the final results as announced by Mr. Picklyk.


The first, second, and third place winners as they were presenting their speech


Before the winners were announced, Mr. Trochanowski spoke briefly about the evaluation procedure, and then presented the first, second, and third place certificates to the respective winners.






2017 Oratorical Contest standings:

1st place


1st place – Abby S.

2nd place


2nd place –  Ashlynn A.

3rd place


3rd place – Bo S.


Congratulations to all nine contestants for a job well done.


The nine contestants posing with their certificates. Click here to enlarge




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