KO Students Take on New Challenges in International Public Speaking Competition

Michelle Caswell
This past Thursday through Monday, three of our Forensic Union students - Elan Stadelmann ’20, Christina Lu ’21, and Jane Liang ’21 - competed in the International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition, hosted this year by Hotchkiss and BB&N in Boston. 
These three students were selected by Heather Wayne and Michelle Caswell as accomplished speakers in diverse categories. All three opted to compete in the same three categories this weekend: Impromptu Speaking, Radio Newscast, and Interpretive Reading. Jane and Christina both competed their Speakers Forum pieces from their English 4 classes in Interpretive Reading, putting the KO curriculum to real-world use!
While KO didn't make the final rounds, win any major awards, or earn spots at Worlds at this competition, our students had a wonderful experience full of challenge, intellectual curiosity, and interacting with students from all over the world. Jane and Christina competed in an entirely new category not usually offered in the US, Radio Newscast, where they embraced the step out of their comfort zones!
To illustrate how close the competition is at this high-level competition, Elan was our team's top speaker: his overall average score was 87.8, where the top speaker in the competition's overall average score was 93.2. In a separation of only six points, Elan proved this weekend that he can run with the pack of the most competitive high school public speakers in the world.
Apart from all the fierce competition, KO's hosts at BB&N filled the free time with some quintessentially Boston experiences. The group explored the city via the T; their favorite exhibit at the MFA of Jackson Pollock's "Mural"; and the students' first Bruins game! (Luckily the Bruins won this game on Saturday night - the crowd around us was not always pleased with our Canadian peers' cheering for Ottawa!)
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.
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