Senior High Public Speaking

Students from O`Donel High School and Mount Pearl Senior High School compete annually in the Mount Pearl Lions Club Senior Speak Out. The competition is hosted by each school in alternating years. The winner goes to the Regional competition held at the Health Sciences Complex Medical School Auditorium in March.  There, the winners from the individual Club competitions of Zones 8 and 9 participate in the Region F Senior high Speak Out. THe winner from this contest competes at the District with winners from each Region.  THere are usually 8-10 speakers at this competition level.

Junior High Public Speaking

Graders 7-9 Students from St Peter`s Junior High, Mount Pearl Intermediate and Mount Pearl Senior High (Gr. 9), also comepete in May each year. Three schools alternate in hosting the event.  The winner goes to the Zone 9 competition at the Waterford Hospital Lions Club where winners from the five Lions Clubs compete.

Participation cash prizes, plaques and medals are awarded to the students and schools.


a sample of the senior high speak is shown below:


Five students from both Mount Pearl high schools participated in a public speaking competition hosted by the Mount Pearl Lions Club at O'Donel High School on February 24th.  The winner will compete with seven other Lions Club winners at the Regional event at the St John's Lions Club on March 30th.


Ms  Patricia Rose, teacher, O'Donel

Lion Ron Clarke,

Samantha McGrath, 1st Place





Ms Patricia Rose coached her three students from O'Donel while Ms Amanda Joseph of Mount Pearl Senior High, provided that support to her two students. Lion Ron Clarke coordinated the event with both teachers and was emcee for the evening.  The Judges were: Noel Veitch, retired MUN professor; Sherry Skinner and Bradley Clarke, both from the Department of Education.  The Questioners were former high school teachers Gerald and Claudette Coombs.  Plaques and cheques were presented to each speaker by Past District Governor, Lion Sam Parsons.  In addition, Samantha received a personal trophy and O'Donel received the perpetual school trophy for display until next year's competition.


The students spoke with confidence and enthusiasm, clearly displaying their skill and interest in public speaking.

Back Row: Laura O'Neill; Bethany Cutler; Kyle Doody

Front Row: Kaitlyn Hickey; Samantha McGrath



Highlights from their topics . . .

Satire - Kyle Doody, O'Donel High School

Kyle presented Satire as a tool for entertainment which also serves educational purposes.  He acknowledged that users of satire can sometimes go too far in making their point.  Although some examples of satire can be offensive to a few or many audiences, they offer great potential for bringing critical societal issues to a public forum.  When politically sensitive topics are addressed, this provides the opportunity for open public discussion.  He also expressed that satire can be used in educational settings to make factual information more memorable!

Body Language - Kaitlyn Hickey, O'Donel High School

Kaitlyn discussed how a person's appearance, as expressed through body language of posture and visual interaction, can leave a lasting impression.  That impression may be formed as a result of an accurate, or an inaccurate, interpretation of the visual information.  She also indicated that dress makes up part of that communication.  In doing her research, she became more aware of the potential message given by her personal body language.  Her heightened awareness has led her to the conclusion that we can each influence how we are perceived by others, by modifying the presence that we project.

Euthanasia - Laura O'Neill, Mount Pearl Senior High

Laura reviewed common themes in euthanasia.  She clarified her view that there are strict conditions under which it is appropriate, and possibly in the best interests of society, to allow euthanasia.   Despite the spiritual, economic and personal choice issues involved in the on-going debate, she felt that the over-riding determinant should be political.  She also expressed that euthanasia should only be an option in cases where the process is offering a more immediate response to an already inevitable result.  She indicated that the final decision should be made by a panel after reviewing a specific set of pre-requirements including: inability to care for oneself, diminished cognitive ability, extreme physical limitations and impending death.

FIRST PLACE ... Capital Punishment 

. . . Samantha McGrath, O'Donel High School

Samantha provided an overview of the popular arguments for, and against, Capital Punishment.  She exposed the hypocrisy of using the death penalty as punishment for taking a life.  She then offered her view that Capital Punishment should not ever be an option in our society.  Her rationale was that every person deserved the opportunity to change and possibly make amends for their actions.  She suggested that no matter how horrific a crime may have been, by taking the life of a criminal, we are taking the easy way out to eliminate one problem while also preventing remorse and remediation.   Instead we could be seeking the cause and providing the environment for prevention.

SECOND PLACE ... Facebook Abuse 

. . . Bethany Cutler, Mount Pearl Senior High

Bethany identified many of the pitfalls of the popular social networking venues such as Facebook.   Individuals do not take the time, or make the effort to learn the privacy controls which are available on sites and therefore expose themselves to levels of exploitation or inappropriate use of their personal information.  Generally this happens as a result of individuals posting information or images which are too intimate or could be damaging in the wrong hands.  She commented that while many of the undesirable complications that are experienced, are a personal responsibility, people should be encouraged to practice greater control.   She recommended increased education to users and better regulation of the sites to prevent inappropriate content from being posted.

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