County-wide speech tourney winners announced |

County-wide speech tourney winners announced

Submitted to The Union

Fifty-three of the top oration students, grades four to eight, from thirteen local public and private schools, recently competed in the county-wide Speech Tournament. The tournament was coordinated by the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office and sponsored by Tri Counties Bank, the Rotary Club of Grass Valley and the Nevada Theatre Commission. This year’s speech topic was “My Perfect Day.” Students gave passionate speeches that ranged in topic from saving Yosemite and finding inner peace, to spending time with friends and family, and eating at Taco Bell twice in one day.

The preliminary and semi-finals competition for students in grades four to eight was held on March 5 at Calvary Bible Church. The tournament was conducted in a “round-robin” fashion, with students reciting speeches three times, each time to a different judge. Semi-finalists were determined and their speeches were recited one last time in front of three judges. Three finalists from each grade were then selected to proceed to the Speech Finals competition. The initial judging team consisted of 15 volunteers from local businesses and organizations as well as retired professionals. The speeches were evaluated on content and delivery with a time limit of no less than two minutes and no more than three and a half minutes.

The student finalists presented their speeches at an evening program on March 10, held at the historic Nevada Theatre. The panel of judges consisted of representatives from local Toastmasters groups. Each finalist received a first, second, or third place trophy and a $25 Book Seller gift certificate. These awards were generously sponsored by Tri Counties Bank and Rotary Club of Grass Valley. The awards were presented by Scott W. Lay, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, and Anita Daniels, Rotary Club of Grass Valley. Bob Long, Rotary Club of Grass Valley, presided as emcee for the evening.

2020 Speech Tournament winners

4th Grade

1st Place: Clover Rashby – Deer Creek Elementary School

2nd Place: Kaylee Gibbs – Chicago Park School

3rd Place: Colt James – Mt. St. Mary’s Academy

5th Grade

1st Place: Whitney Parnow – Seven Hills Middle School

2nd Place: John Luisetti – Seven Hills Middle School

3rd Place: Taylor Browning – Lyman Gilmore Middle School

6th Grade

1st Place: Alyssa Rubiales – Seven Hills Middle School

2nd Place: Grant LaCosse – Lyman Gilmore Middle School

3rd Place: Greyson George – Lyman Gilmore Middle School

7th Grade

1st Place: Arianna Drageset – Seven Hills Middle School

2nd Place: Morgan Parnow – Seven Hills Middle School

3rd Place: Erik Von Ruden – Magnolia Middle School

8th Grade

1st Place: Kaeli Horn – Lyman Gilmore Middle School

2nd Place: Rita Arnberg – Ready Springs School

3rd Place: Melina Handen – Seven Hills School

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User