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January 2017
Merced-Mariposa Sectional Speaking Contest

Atwater FFA Students Qualify for Regional Speaking Finals

The Atwater High School FFA joined 141 FFA speaking contestants, representing fourteen high school agriculture programs at the annual Merced-Mariposa FFA Public Speaking Sectional Finals at Merced College January 21st. The “top 4” individual finalists in each speaking contest advance to the regional prelims in February. Atwater FFA had eleven of the twenty sectional finalists advancing to the regional prelims next month.

 

Atwater High School agriculture program senior Jasmine Flores placed 1st overall in Extemporaneous Speaking with Kendyll Cruz (3rd overall) also qualifying for the regional prelims. In Extemporaneous Speaking, students are presented with a choice of three questions related to agricultural current events and, in 30 minutes, prepare a seven-minute speech answering the selected question. Students may consult articles and evidence they gather prior to the contest, but may not use the Internet during preparation. Topics range from local-specific issues to national-world concerns relating to agriculture. The speech is delivered from memory. Stephania Valdovinos (5th overall), Ana Lozano, and Jennifer Velazquez also participated in the section finals event.

 

Atwater High School agriculture program junior Callie Norton placed 2nd overall in Prepared Public Speaking with senior Julianna Dailey (4th overall) also qualifying for the regional prelims. Both speeches was on cybersecurity in the agriculture industry and fear marketing. The contest for all participants involves a 6-8 speech on an agriculture related topic/issue, a written manuscript which is scored, and a question and answer period between the contestant and judges following the speech. Dillon Guillen and Kaya Briscoe-Mattis also participated and earned top finishes.

 

Atwater High School agriculture program sophomores Anessa Cardenas (3rd overall) will be moving onto the regional finals in the Impromptu Speaking contest. The impromptu speech is given without any preparation, any notes or other additional materials; it is a spontaneous reaction to an agriculture-related topic at hand which may introduce an interesting turn to the discussion. Emily Junez (5th overall), Lilianna Vargas, and Natalie Frontella also competed in the sectional finals.

 

Atwater High School agriculture program junior Joel Rojas placed 8th overall in the Job Interview contest which involves students completing a cover letter, resume, job application, and panel interview. This event emphasizes developing, practicing, and demonstrating skills needed when seeking employment.  Other Atwater FFA members that competed in the Job Interview contest included Ashley Bond, Christina Aguilar, Daisy Flores, and Kelsi Kamesch.

 

Freshman agriculture students Luz Soto (5th overall) and Alyssa Carrillo (11th overall) made it to the section’s final round and placed in the top one-third of the competitors. This event is designed to recognize outstanding FFA members for their ability to present the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions on the meaning and purpose of the FFA Creed. The event is just one way FFA members can develop their ability to communicate in a powerful, organized and professional manner. Members boost their self- confidence and earn recognition. Alyssa Carrillo, Mariah Castro, Daisy Flores-Mota, Katelyn Hawthorne also competed in the section finals.

 

“Being a good communicator is one of the foundations off success towards personal and career development,” says Atwater FFA Advisor Kim Macintosh. “I’m very proud of our students’ efforts, participation, courage, and enthusiasm in this event!”

Audrey Esau
Atwater FFA Reporter