The Carlsbad High School Speech Contest was held during our meeting.  This is one of the favorite meetings of the year for us. Carlsbad Rotary has provided this platform for the CHS debate team for several years. Winners will take part in a District-wide competition and the sub-regional and regional level.  We are very proud of these young students as they gain confidence in their speaking skills.
Rules: Each presenter will talk on how the Rotary 4-way test affects special times in one life. The speech was required to be at least 5 minutes and no longer than 7 minutes. The speakers were initially introduced as A, B, C and D, while 3 judges (initially anonymous) were in the audience.
  • Sierra Vakili (A) chose as her topic the great places and things about America, and applied the Rotary 4-way Test to what’s happening in our great country.
  • Melissa Kay (B) talked about the Bystander effect: people who standby in a passive mode when something bad may be occurring – e.g. a fellow student drops a lot of books; too few people jump in to help.
  • Anna Mellisinos (C) spoke about her shyness, which prevented her from engaging with the debaters. Once she overcame this, she found that everyone was welcoming and she made many worthwhile and long-lasting friendships.
  • Arin Zwonitzer (D) talked about her love of commercials and then the cultural taboos that causes fear. We need to fear only violence and prejudice and fight against them.
The 3 judges: Kasia Trojanowska, Jeff Schafer and Craig Lindholm.
Ray Pearson then invited the 4 contestants to introduce themselves: Sierra Vakili (A) wants to study Biotech and Engineering after high school. Melissa Kay (B) would like to study Industrial Engineering at USD. Anna Mellisinos (C) likes to write and loves to interact with people and find friendships that last. Arin Zwonitzer (D) likes public speaking would like to be a Civil Rights attorney.
While the judge’s votes were being tallied, Frank Silva invited Minnia Curtis to say a few words. Mrs. Curtis has been the Speech & Debate Teacher at Carlsbad High School for many years. She reported that there were about 120 students in the speech-and-debate group. She expressed her appreciation for the annual hosting by Carlsbad Rotary of the 4-way debate contest.
Clearly all four contestants were winners! The judges voted as follows: Arin Zwonitzer #1;   Melissa Kay #2; Anna Mellisinos #3; and Sierra Vakili #4. Congratulations to all!!
CHS Speech & Debate Website: