The first Discovery Academy Speech Contest was held Friday, August 27, 2010 in the school’s Fine Arts Room. Though this was the first time for this event, the results were very good and very encouraging. The first place winner was Zach T., whose topic was “School Violence”. Second place went to Kyle D., who spoke on the topic of “Choices”, and third place was taken by Sarah S. who chose a current event topic, “The Planned New York Mosque”. The judges for the contest were three faculty members, Coleen Gleason, Elaine Layosa, and Robert Stoddard. The standards included organization, eye contact with the audience, content, over-all delivery style, and minimum dependence on notes. Three weeks prior to the contest, Coleen Gleason conducted a workshop with all of our students on the basics of public speaking. At that time, the contest was announced and students began to sign up to participate. Topics required approval, then the participants proceeded to do their research and preparation. The conducting of the workshop and the culmination in the contest were all a part of the Discovery Academy emphasis on experiential education and direct teaching. The three judges will be taking the three winners to dinner, with the first place winner, Zach, having the privilege of choosing the restaurant. All of the participants were graded and their grades will be applied to their English course concepts. It is the intention to have another workshop and contest in the Spring, and to develop a tradition, primarily, for the sake of developing the public speaking skills for all of our students, and to encourage them to be prepared for future speaking opportunities.