Students earn cash awards in Rotary Speech Contest

Alyssa Tampone, a senior, and Madilyn Weiss, a freshman won $150 and $100, respectively, in the challenging event.
Posted on 03/23/2023
From left, Madilyn Weiss, Nicole Moreno, and Alyssa Tampone after the Rotary Four-Way Speech Contest.

By Gary Weckselblatt

Quakertown Community High School students Alyssa Tampone and Madilyn Weiss each received cash prizes in the Rotary Four-Way Test Speech Competition, held at QCHS on March 23.

Alyssa, a senior, took first place in the event along with a check for $150. Madilyn, a freshman, finished second, good for $100.

“It’s so important that kids learn their words matter,” said Nicole Moreno, the high school’s public speaking teacher. “Today, we had people outside of the school saying we want to hear what you have to say.”

The purpose of the speech is to apply the principles of Rotary International’s Four-Way Test to a current ethical issue. The principles are:

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Students identify a topic and take a point of view on which they seek to persuade others. Each part of the Four-Way Test should be addressed during the speech. The speech must last between five and seven minutes. Scoring is based on content (44 points), organization (24), and delivery (32).

Alyssa spoke about gun violence, which she described as “a uniquely American problem,” and gave statistics to back up her thesis. “I’ve been passionate about this issue for a long time,” she said after her victory. “I wasn’t sure I could do it. Glad to know I can.”

Madilyn’s topic was the Importance of music and art, and the threat of schools across the world eliminating those programs. She supported her perspective by saying students who participate in music and art scored 158 points higher on the SAT.

“You have some great speakers,” said David Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer of QNB Bank, in his ninth year as director of the event. “We’ve had a lot of success in this contest. We appreciate you keeping it going. This one was very close.”

Dr. Michael Zackon, QCSD’s Supervisor of Secondary Programs, said "Observing our students express themselves in such a challenging environment and format was impressive. I am so proud of their public speaking skills. We are incredibly appreciative of the Quakertown Rotary Club for supporting, running, and leading this fabulous activity."

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].

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