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Rogersville City School BOE puts spotlight on public speaking contest winners

Jeff Bobo • Jan 20, 2020 at 5:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A handful of Rogersville City School students got to do the talking for a change during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting by presenting their winning speeches from the school’s Farm Bureau essay and 4-H public speaking contests.

Nathaniel Cope was the winner of the Tennessee Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and Tennessee Farm Bureau Women 2020 essay contest for fifth-graders.

Cope received a $75 cash prize, and he will also move on to the state competition.

Fifth grade teacher Laura Hartness told the BOE that as her students were working on their essay entries, Cope finished and then went around the classroom and helped his classmates.

Hartness added, “I think that says a lot about his character when this is a contest. He went and made sure everything with the computers was working right, if they had any questions, proofread — be a peer editor. He did a really outstanding job.”

Second place went to Baylee Trent, who earned a $50 cash prize.

Cope’s essay focused on why agriculture is important to our environment, while Trent’s essay discussed why agriculture is so important and how it affects us in our daily lives.

A video of their speeches can be seen in the online version of this article at www.timesnews.net.

That video also includes the winning 4-H public speaking contest speeches of fifth-grader Eli Boyd and fourth-grader Carrie Ruth Lawson, both of whom were Blue Ribbon and Purple Award winners.

Boyd’s speech was about astronomy and “The Life of a Star.”

Lawson’s speech was about what she learned by “being raised in a barn” as a show animal competitor.

Bella Catron, who was the overall sixth grade 4-H public speaking contest Blue Ribbon and Purple Award winner, was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting to give her winning speech because she was cheering in the basketball game at Surgoinsville.

Other 4-H public speaking contest ribbon winners who were recognized by the BOE Tuesday included Will Phillips (Blue Ribbon), Anna Claire Catron (Blue Ribbon), Sophia Galvez (Blue Ribbon), Caroline Hicks (Red Ribbon), Shayla Fender (Red Ribbon), Ainsley Price (Red Ribbon), and Brandon Dykes (Red Ribbon).

The BOE also recognized this year’s spelling bee winner, eight-grader Brady Eidson, and geography bee winner, fourth-grader Brayden Brown.