How the Annual Rotary Club Speech Contest Took Place This Year

San Lorenzo Valley High School students take home a grand total of $350 at a local speech contest on February 13, 2020. Senior Lukas Hagar won the first-place prize of $200, Skylar Berggren the second-place prize of $100 and junior Nolan Alisago took home the third-place prize of $50.

The annual Rotary Club speech contest took place on February 13 at 6:00 P.M. this year at Scopazzi’s restaurant in Boulder Creek. Eight contestants showed up and gave excellent speeches, but only three would take home cash and only one would move on for an opportunity for even more. The contestants consisted of seniors Lukas Hagar, Skylar Berggren, and Narayan Wilder. junior Nolan Alisago, sophomores Dylan Deguara, and Natalie Hunter and freshman Katharina Guth.

Nolan Alisago took third-place, with his speech about the importance of having a representative student government. He joined the contest because he was very passionate about what he wanted to talk about and trying to make a headspace on the initiative for what he was trying to start. He knew that there would be important people in the audience and it would give him a larger platform. He said, “it was a great experience, I’ve got fifty dollars in my pocket, I got free food and I got to talk about what I was passionate about. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.” 

Dylan Deguara believes that the contest was beneficial for everyone who participated because everyone learned more about rotary, improved their public speaking skills, and made new connections. 

On the other hand, Narayan Wilder believes that the contest was biased. He said, “I think you and I should have won, but the people who did win just spoke very highly of the club.” Although everyone did give very good speeches, it is true that the winners of the contest mainly focused on why the club itself is so important, rather than just the principles. 

This year’s theme for the contest was “Rotary Connects the World.” Contestants choose their own topics but had to connect their theme to the Rotary 4-Way Test. For those of you who do not know what this is, the rotary four-way test; number one, is it the truth? Number two, is it fair to all concerned? Number three, will it build goodwill and better friendships? Number four, is it beneficial to all concerned? The test is meant to challenge your words and actions. 

Personally, I believe that all of the contestants gave excellent speeches and I would like to personally congratulate Lukas Hagar, who took first place, Skylar Berggren, who took second place, and Nolan Alisago, who took third. The contest was a very good opportunity for students to speak on subjects that were important to them, and I would highly recommend that anyone who is passionate about any subject, would join the contest next year.

By Natalie Hunter

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