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The winner of both the 2014 and 2015 Oratorical Contest – Janelle K.


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 at a later age. To help facilitate this process, every year in May the grade 6 to 8 students of IHMS are asked to deliver a 2-3 minute speech to their classmates on a preselected topic.


The preselected topics for each grade were as follows:

  • Grade 6: My Interests / Activities
  • Grade 7: Why I Enjoy Attending IHMS
  • Grade 8: What I Plan To Do In The Future


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 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 21st Annual Oratorical Contest was held on Thursday, May 21 in the school gym. The finalists for each grade were:


Grade 6 Finalists

ashlynn7 james7 anton7
Ashlynn A. James B. Anton V.



Grade 7 Finalists

nina7 janelle7 tom7
Nina H. Janelle K. Thomas S.



Grade 8 Finalists

gabe7 mylana7 marta7
Gabriel M. Mylana S. Marta T.



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. M. Banias, the school’s vice-principal
  • Ms. K. Rowe, IHMS’s Educational Aide


The three judges – Mr. Fil, Mr. Banias, and Ms. Rowe


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. A few parents also showed up. Mr. Picklyk was the MC for the Oratorical Contest.


Mr. Picklyk (top photo) and parents watching the contest (bottom photo)


The contest began just after 9:00 a.m., and by 9:40 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. Everyone reconvened in the gym at 10:40 a.m. to hear the final results as announced by Mr. Picklyk.


Students and contestants reconvened in the gym for the results at 10:40


However, before the results were announced, Nina H., one of the grade 8 oratorical contestants, took advantage of this opportunity to deliver  another speech to the assembled students. Nina is a member of the IHMS debate club, and was selected to participate in a contest being held in the next few days in Vancouver, One of the items that she’ll be doing in the contest is delivering a prepared speech. This was the speech that she gave to the assembled students before the results of the Oratorical Contest were announced, and it was absolutely amazing! Nina will do an exceptional job representing both  herself and IHMS in Vancouver!


Nina H. practicing the speech she will be giving in a few days in Vancouver


After Nina’s speech, one of the judges, Mr. Banias, spoke briefly about the high quality of this year’s competition and then presented the first, second, and third place certificates to the respective winners.


Mr. Banias discussed judging protocol and the high quality of this year’s speeches



2015 Oratorical Contest standings:


1st place


1st place – Janelle K.



2nd place


2nd place – Gabriel M.



3rd place


3rd place – Nina H.



Congratulations to all nine contestants for a job well done.


The contestants (with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners seated in the front) posing with certificates after the contest. To view in larger format click here


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