Speech Winners to Deliver TED Talks

Speech Winners to Deliver TEDx Talks
Posted on 05/17/2018
Student Speech Contest Winners Will Now Deliver TED Talks

Four District students will deliver their award-winning speeches to a global audience during the first TEDxChulaVista at Southwestern College on May 19.


Ythaniel Marcus G. Tolete, Joslyn Herrera, Evan Garcia and Makenna Davis will be featured alongside acclaimed musicians and artists, inspirational entrepreneurs and thought-provoking leaders at the city’s inaugural TEDx, an international phenomenon that brings people together to hear “ideas worth sharing.”


The students are the 2018 winners of the District’s annual Speech Contest, held under the direction of Antwon Lincoln, District coordinator of instructional technology and media services. They were lauded by the Board of Education with certificates of recognition and each received $200 in prize money. TEDxChulaVista will showcase student speakers as well as leading orators.


With the theme of “enlightening the human spirit through relationships,” the students crafted pieces prompted by challenges specific to each category. In the Fourth Grade group, students gave their answers to “What should matter most?” The Fifth Grade group replied to “Why should you/we care?” In the Sixth Grade group, students answered “What should you/we not turn your/our backs on?” Middle school students responded to “Take a stance!”


Winning speeches focused on a range of complex ideas worth sharing, from the importance of friends and community, to the value of self-worth and the weight words carry.


Ythaniel, who attends Salt Creek Elementary, was among six finalists in the Fourth Grade category. Runners up were Louis Nguyen of Allen Elementary, Avery Martin of Halecrest Elementary, Erich Del Mundo of Marshall Elementary, Sophia Sanchez Alvarex of Mueller Charter, and Faith Masingale of Parkview Elementary.


Joslyn came in first in a field of six competitors in the Fifth Grade category. She is a student at Valle Lindo Elementary. The other finalists were Andrew Rafal of Camarena Elementary, Audrey Sutton of Hedenkamp Elementary, Samantha Garcia of Loma Verde Elementary, Elizabeth Heath of Marshall Elementary, and Carlos Pio Hoffman of Mueller Charter.


Evan was one of six finalists in the Sixth Grade category. He attends Wolf Canyon Elementary. The other contestants were Kailey Tottress of Cook Elementary , Atticus Gates of Eastlake Elementary, Alyxandra Navarro of Loma Verde Elementary, Clotilde Menard-Durand of Olympic View Elementary, and Joy Herrera of Valle Lindo Elementary. Joy is winner Joslyn Herrera’s older sister!


Makenna Davis was the winner of the middle school category, which includes Grades Seven and Eight. She is in the eighth grade at Mueller Charter. Her competitors were Alex Guillen, in the seventh grade at Chula Vista Learning Community Charter, Monica Law, a seventh grader at Feaster Charter, and Aleksandra Schubert, who is in the eighth grade at Discovery Charter.


The students have been working with coaches for several weeks to polish their speeches and present them as Ted Talks at the May 19 TEDx event. They had some practice already, having made oral presentations during the Board of Education meeting held March 7. Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Instruction Matthew Tessier, Ed.D., introduced the students as “magnificent, talented future leaders,” and called them the best the District has to offer.


The finals were judged this year by Beatriz Bautista of the South Bay Family YMCA, Madison O'Hara Wickham of the Junior Optimist International Club, and Jeff Edmons, musical director of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory.


The competition was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chula Vista, which provided the award funds.
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