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Five Winners 2019

The high school winners of the 2019 North Napa Rotary 4-Way Test Speech contest were, from left, Mario Schmutz, Justin-Siena, Christopher Castillo Vargas, Napa, Eilidh Stults, New Technology, Lydia Davis, American Canyon, and Kaitlin Thaller, Vintage.

The third annual 4 Way Test Speech Contest, sponsored by the Rotary Club of North Napa, held on April 30, showcased the talents of five local high school students, who competed for $2,500 in scholarship prizes.

The contest was held at the Wine Train Commissary and was attended by a host of local educators, parents and guests, including Dr. Rosanna Mucetti, NVUSD Superintendent.

Finalists were selected from a field of more than 100 students who competed to represent their schools in this competition, including, American Canyon, Napa, New Technology, Vintage and Justin-Siena High Schools. Winners were recognized for speech organization, delivery and content to incorporate the Rotary 4 Way Test, an ethical and moral guideline consisting of the following:

In the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 

4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Rotary Club of North Napa President Tracy Tinsley opened the evening, and Victoria Lancaster, emcee and contest chairperson introduced the panel of judges, consisting of Allison Haley, Napa County district attorney; Dr. Ronald Kraft, Napa Valley College president, and Brenda Pedroza, major gifts officer, Ole Health who have served as judges for the past three contests.

Each student then presented in extemporaneous fashion, weaving his or her  life experiences, insights and commitment to social values into a speech.

At the conclusion of the evening, the judges went about their seemingly impossible charge, to select the winners of this competition.

In order of their awards:

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-- First Place: Elidh Stults, a senior at New Technology High School, speaking on "Foster Care: A Broken System/ Solutions to Creating Loving & Stable Foster Care Environments."

-- Second Place: Christopher Castillo Vargas; senior at Napa High School, speaking on "Barriers to Dreamers’ Hopes/ Opening Doors to Turning Dreamers into Doers."

-- Third Place: Lydia Davis, senior at American Canyon High School, speaking on "Overcoming Fears of Vaccinations/ Protecting Future Generations from Past Plagues."

-- Fourth Place: Mario Schmutz, senior at Justin-Siena High School, speaking on "Changing Attitudes About GMOs/ GMOs: Solution to World Hunger"

-- Fifth Place: Kaitlin Thaller, junior at Vintage High School speaking on "Reducing Student Sleep Deprivation/ Changing School Days to Later Start Times."

Common to all contestant’s speeches, was the theme of identifying and correcting social issues within our community and beyond. This demonstrated awareness of community issues, coupled with selfless desire and optimism, was reassuring to all that the future is secure in the hands of these inspiring youth, and by this measure, the consensus was that they were all 1st place winners.

To learn more about Rotary Club of North Napa, contact Tom Webber @ tomwebber80@aol.com. Rotary is a growing service organization made up of community leaders, dedicated to making a difference in our community and our world while also enjoying the company of like-minded people.

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