The top sixth grade finishers, standing with Extension Agent Erik Lovestrand are, from left, third place Nevaeh Sims, winner was Ava Everett, and runner-up Zoe Everett [ Kayle Mears | UF-IFAS ]
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Students demonstrate art of public speaking

The two judges, Apalachicola librarian Lucy Carter, and Carrie Jones, environmental supervisor with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, were seated promptly before the 9 a.m. start of the district-wide 4-H Public Speaking Competition Friday.

A large number of parents were in their seats as well in the meeting room at the UF IFAS extension office across from the Mill Pond.

Attending to cheer on Franklin County fourth grader October Barnett were little sister Willow, a Franklin County second grader, center; their mom Cass Peters, at right;’ and Franklin County third grader Sadie Sowell. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Twenty students, from the fourth, fifth and sixth grades from all three schools in the county, as well as homeschooled students, were seated in front, ready to deliver their two- to three-minute speeches.

UF IFAS Franklin County Extension Director Erik Lovestrand welcomed the attendees, gave a history of the competition and it was time for the students to step forward and each deliver their remarks from the podium. 

The first division was that of the fourth and fifth graders.

From the Apalachicola Bay Charter School would be Zara Carter speaking on “The Balance of Trust,” Ezra Hernandez on “A Trip to Grandma’s House,” and Kai Rodriguez on “A Day of Skiing.”

From the Franklin County Schools were Myleigh Beasley, delivering remarks on “Vacations,” October Barnett on “Laughing,” and Jahzzara Aguirre on “Pandas.”

From the First Baptist Christian School stepped forward Logan Fuentes on “My Spanish Heritage,” Kairi Trest on “Feisty Fur Balls,” and Logan Gormley on “World War II.”

Enjoying lunch are, from left; First Baptist Christian School Kairi Trest, fifth grader Logan Fuentes, principal Carline Kembro, sixth grader Nathan Ray and fourth grader Logan Gormley. Not pictured are sixth graders Ella McLain and Montez Ray, [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The two homeschooled students taking part were Emma Acree, speaking on “My Dog” and Joshua Allen on “Astronauts.”

After a random drawing determined the order of speakers, the students came forward to speak, banishing their fears and delivering their words crisply and enthusiastically.

Following a lunch break it was time for the sixth grade division.

Judging the speech competition were, from left: Carrie Jones, environmental supervisor with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Lucy Carter, director of the Apalachicola Margaret Key Public Library. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

From the ABC School spoke Ava Everett, on “Being An Identical Twin,” Zoe Everett on “Why School Should Have a Later Start Time.” and Easton Johnston on “My Daily Life.”

Qualifying from the First Baptist Christian School were Nathan Ray, on “U-Boat History,” Ella McClain on “Panama City Beach Vacation,” and Montez Ray on “My Trip to Lakeland,” although McLain and Ray were unable to attend the district competition.

From the Franklin County Schools, competing were Ethan Shiver, on “Basketball,” Nevaeh Sims on “My School” and Lilly Rotella on “Plastic Waste.”

Following the long morning, Lovestrand and administrative assistant Michelle Huber awarded the top three speeches in each group

Among the fourth and fifth graders, the winner was Logan Fuentes, with Joshua Allen second and Kai Rodriguez third.

Standing with Extension Agent Erik Lovestrand are, from left, fourth and fifth grade winner Logan Fuentes, runner-up Joshua Allen and third place Kai Rodriguez. [ Kayle Mears | UF-IFAS ]

Among the sixth graders, the winner was Ava Everett, with Zoe Everett second and Nevaeh Sims third. Ava Everett and Fuentes each received a full scholarship to 4-H Summer Camp at Camp Timpoochee and will advance to the District 3 competition in Wakulla County on April 22.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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