Public Speaking Competes in Rotary Competition

Sommar Veverka, Social Media/Broadcast Director

Catherine de Luna believes in the power of Latin. And determined to convince others, she competed last month in the Orinda Rotary Four-Way Speech Competition. With five other seniors, DeLuna used the opportunity to “express my love about the Latin language, and do something different from what I normally do in public speaking.”

Each year Miramonte Public Speaking classes vote for the top eight senior speakers to participate in the international non-profit’s Orinda- Lafayette competition. Established in 1949, the Rotary Club of Orinda celebrated its 65th anniversary this year, embodying “a commitment to service in our community and beyond,” according to the Rotary’s website. Rotary is an international nonprofit organization and works to better the community through service projects.

Last month Miramonte Public Speaking competed in the Orinda Rotary Four-Way Speech Competition, an annually held event. Eight seniors are chosen to participate in these competitions, then all the seniors gather and vote on the top six that they want to represent Miramonte at the rotary clubs. This year seniors Caiseen Kelley, Bryan Wang and Daniel Ginsburg represented Miramonte at the Rotary of Orinda speech competition, and seniors Tommy Kubitscheck, Carolyn Brager and Catherine de Luna represented at the Rotary of Lafayette competition. “It was interesting to see a part of the Lamorinda area that I normally don’t see and see their influence on the community,” de Luna said.

The competition isn’t necessarily high stakes, but more so for the enjoyment of the rotary club members. At these competitions students are able to win scholarship money, however the more established competitions such as American Legion and Lions Club are higher stakes, and students can win more money at these. Each speaker chooses a topic and runs it through rotary’s four-way test: is it the truth?, is it fair?, will it create goodwill and friendships?, and is it beneficial to all? De Luna attended the Lafayette Rotary competition and gave a speech about the study of the Latin language. She answered the question “is it the truth that studying latin is important?”

The rotary speech competitions have been a long tradition. Just 20 years ago, Miramonte Public Speaking Teacher Kristen Plant competed in the Four-Way-Test speech contest as a member of the Miramonte team. This tradition that allows the rotary members and high school students to connect in numerous ways.