CELEBRATIONS: Kuna Middle School students to Speak at Ford’s Theatre

Celebrations is a new addition to the IMLA online presence.  In this feature, we’d like to share out all the fantastic things Idaho students and teachers are achieving. 

Idaho Middle Level Association Congratulates Kuna Middle School Students Sophia McGregor and Olivia Stewart!

Idaho is only one of nine states chosen to participate in the Ford’s Theatre Oratory Fellows program, Two from Kuna are the cream of the crop when it comes to writing and giving speeches. They will be speaking live, on stage at Ford’s Theatre onMay 4th.   Along with their speaking engagement they will meet with Senator Crapo, Senator Risch, receive a tour of the Capitol by a staff member of Congressman Labrador, they have also received letters of congratulations from President and Mrs. Obama, Congressman Simpson, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Idaho is one of only nine states that have been lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the 2014-2015 Ford’s Theatre National Oratory Fellows Program. Kuna Middle School was chosen to represent Idaho at this amazing event. On Thursday, February 12th, KMS held their Kuna Middle School / Ford’s Theatre Oratory Competition and Celebration.

Over twenty 8th graders started the program and 14 of them competed in the competition. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives turned out for the event. The two 8th graders who won the competition were Sophia McGregor (Oratory Champion) and Olivia Stewart (Runner-up). Chelsea Trautman was selected as the alternate.

Wally Hames, KMS 8th Grade American History Teacher, is in his 4th year as a Ford’s Theatre National Oratory Fellow. In Mr. Hames’ history classes, students have been working with a professional actor, Mr. Stephen Schmidt, through the use of video conferencing software (Skype) to work on Oratory Skills and Podium Points that help students in their Public Speaking skills. This is also the first year that Mr. Hames has had an Oratory Club that allowed all 8th Graders at KMS the opportunity to work on historical as well as original speeches, podium points and video conferencing with Washington, DC after school. Even though this program is in its first year it has proven to be a complete success.

Between May 1st and May 7th, Mr. Hames along with Miss McGregor and Miss Stewart, will be visiting our nation’s capital city to attend leadership workshops as well as different oratory sessions. They will all work with five professional actors in preparation for a celebration on stage at Ford’s Theatre. On Monday, May 4th, Sophia and Olivia will present their original speeches onstage at Ford’s Theatre alongside students from across the United States.

Do you have a Celebration you’d like to share with the rest of the IMLA?  Submit your students’ successes and photos with our webmaster, Kevin Murphy.