Speech students have a way with words

Speaking their way to the top, several West Shore students won awards at the recent Speech and Debate competition March 14 at Palm Bay High School. Juniors Srimayi Tenali, Kaylee Willner, and sophomore Moses Chavez-Gray all competed.

Srimayi placed first place in Original Oratory with her speech titled “The Power of Words,” and Willner placed third in Oral Interpretation with the poems “Dead Man’s Dump,” “Dulce et Decorum est,” and “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” which represented the theme of war, and her prose piece, “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

“I love The Yellow Wallpaper,” Willner said. “That’s why I really wanted to read it. It was so difficult trying to cut it down to fit the time limit.”

Chavez-Gray placed fourth in Oral Interpretation with his prose “Pride” by Ayn Rand and poem “Our Greatest Fear.”

This is the second and smaller tournament that the West Shore Speech and Debate team participated in this year. Originally, Tenali and senior Molly Minta had signed up to participate in the debate section but because of the low amount of participants, the organization canceled the debate section. Instead, Tenali decided to write a speech for the competition and Minta decided not to attend the event.

“I originally wanted to debate, but they collapsed that event, so I ended up switching to speech instead,” Tenali said. “I wrote and memorized the entire speech on Friday, so it was stressful, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. I had a good time speaking and made some new friends.”