Paideia Academy Students Win First and Second in Oratorical Competition

Two students from Antioch’s Paideia Academy, Haley Robles and Christian Abrojena, placed first and second, respectively, in the American Legion Oratorical District Level Competition held on Sunday, January 19th, at the Veterans’ Memorial Hall in Vallejo. As the winner of the speaking contest, Robles now advances to the Area Level competition to be held in Woodlands.

The competition, put on annually by the American Legion, requires each student to give an eight to ten minute speech on some aspect of the Constitution with an emphasis on the responsibilities of Americans. This is followed by an impromptu speech on one of four possible clauses taken from the Constitution. Both speeches must be given without notes, making them particularly challenging.

“This is one of the most prestigious, and difficult, competitions available to high school students,” Sheri Crowder, the speech and debate coach at Paideia Academy, stated. “It requires much research and practice just to enter; but the rewards for the student make it very worthwhile.”

In addition to the invaluable public speaking experience gained, students are eligible for cash and scholarship prize money that ranges up to $30,000 at the national level.

Robles is a veteran of such competitions. Last year she won an award from the Fleet Reserve Association for an essay she wrote on Americanism. She was also the first place winner of an international essay competition sponsored by the Scottish Reformation Society. She currently competes on the Paideia Academy Debate Team along with her partner, Vanessa Urbina, on the issue of federal tax policy.

Paideia Academy, located in the King’s Chapel Annex at 320 Worrell Road in Antioch, has in recent years produced a number of champions in writing and speech competitions. The school administrator can be reached at (925) 628-4033.

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