On May 3, we had the Finals for the 2016 Law Day speech contest at the Viewpoint Room at the West Bay Marina. We were hosted by the West Olympia Rotary who, as always, provided an enthusiastic and supportive audience for our student presenters. This year’s topic focused on the issue of admitting refugees into the United States. Ripped from today’s headlines, this issue has sparked a heated political debate across our nation. We asked the students to develop the most appropriate legal, social, and moral response to this issue.
We had a preliminary round on April 19. Our entrants included a homeschooled student and students from Olympia High School, Capital High School, Tumwater High School, North Thurston, Timberline High School, and the Day Reporting program. The preliminary round was attended and scored by TCBA Board Members Terry Church, Patrick O’Connor, and John Skinder. We were honored that Judge Jim Dixon also attended and scored the preliminary round. Selecting the top three finalists was a challenge because the students presented compelling speeches with passion and poise. James Dunning, Bella Hood, and Nate Wertjes advanced to the Finals.
All three students were very impressive in their presentations at the Finals. The audience cheered and applauded after each student finished. After the speeches concluded, three speech judges were selected representing the Rotary and the TCBA. After intense deliberation, Third Place was awarded to Bella Hood who is a Junior at Olympia High School. Second Place was awarded to Nate Wertjes, a Senior at Tumwater High School. And, the winner of the 2016 Law Day Speech Contest was awarded to James Dunning, a Homeschooled Sophomore. The TCBA presented scholarship money to each Finalist ($800 for first place, $600 for second place and $400 for third place) and the Rotary provided each of the Finalists with a very nice commemorative plaque. It was an awesome event!
If any members would like to participate in this awesome event next year, please let John Skinder know of your interest.
He can be reached at the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office or feel free to e-mail Heather at TCBA.firstname.lastname@example.org.