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The City Journals

Summit Academy students memorize, recite poems, original speeches

May 29, 2022 01:02PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

In the early years, when Summit Academy began its poetry and speech festival, there were crocodiles with toothaches, dogs, cats with jetpacks, swings, gremlins, dragons, mice, dolls, St. Nicholas and a boring day.

Through the years, students have recited material from Maya Angelou to Roald Dahl to pieces from musicals. Some students recited from presidents John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt, and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

There have been original poems, such as one in 2012 about “The Barnyard Bash” that left the audience laughing, and serious topics such as “Dishonesty in the Government and the Consequence.”

This year was no different. Topics varied when students took the stage in April.

The poetry and speech festival is a cumulative project based on the monthly opportunities when Summit Academy students learn and recite poetry. However, for this festival, students select and memorize a published speech or poem and present it to their class. For older students, an original speech or poem also may be accepted.

Students are judged on their memorization and fluidity, their voice and expression, their poise, eye contact and gestures and the content and difficulty of their pieces. 

Students celebrated this year’s winners. In first- and second-grade oratory: Kendall Kohler, 1st place; Bo Robie, 2nd; Mix Lujan, 3rd; in first- and second-grade drama: Aly Gourley, 1st place; Andrew Smuin, 2nd; Madeline Baik, 3rd; in third- and fourth-grade oratory: Beckham Hansen, 1st place; Atley Jackson, 2nd; Peyton Ford, 3rd; in third-and fourth-grade drama: Cadence Bartholomew, 1st place; Elsie Garner, 2nd; Savannah Pettit, 3rd; in fifth- and sixth-grade oratory: Liam Humphries, 1st place; Luka Oliviera, 2nd; Kinsley Hathaway, 3rd; in fifth- and sixth-place drama: Emerson Brady, 1st place; Harlow Mccleery, 2nd; Kate Madsen, 3rd; in seventh- and eighth-grade speech festival contest: Carter Kenworthy, 1st place; Abigail Carpenter, 2nd; Kolin Rasmussen, 3rd.