The Saltus Public Speaking team traveled to Boston, USA the first weekend in November 2019 to compete in the annual International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition. This year this prestigious competition was co-hosted by Buckingham, Browne and Nichols and The Hotchkiss schools on the beautiful BBN Cambridge campus.
This long standing competition is used by the American and Canadian groups to select their teams for Worlds and to identify students who are at the top of their game in each field: competition is therefore stiff. Students are required to enter 3 categories which means that they must hone and develop a wide range of skills and competencies if they wish to compete at this level. The categories are varied and range from impromptu speaking to dramatic interpretation, radio newscasting to parliamentary and cross examination debating, to name but a few.
Students from Saltus, along with Mckenzie Kohl Tuckett (from Warwick Academy), have been preparing for this competition since June and have spent countless hours drafting, redrafting and revising speeches, practicing their debating skills and developing all aspects of their public speaking. The students carried themselves with confidence, poise, professionalism and a huge helping of friendliness. Their work for this competition was a fantastic testament to the School, their families and the coach. A special acknowledgement should also be made for Ywione Darrell who made it into finals in the category of Parliamentary Debating and to Sam Webel who made it into the finals in the Persuasive Speaking category.
This year, the trip was especially busy as we squeezed in not only a tour of the Harvard College campus where students were able to learn about the history of the campus and famous alum, but they also heard, first-hand about the day to day life of a typical students. Our students were also fortunate enough to be given a private tour, with the BHS students, of the biomechatronics lab run by Hugh Herr, PhD one of the leaders of research in the field. This gave students a close up look at a working research lab and the amazing work happening in the field of biomechanics and musculoskeletal design. If this wasn’t enough, students were then surprised, on Saturday evening, with tickets to see the Boston Bruins play live at The Gardens. This year’s IISPSC Saltus trip was definitely one to be remembered.