Students “Speak Up” About Federal and State Laws

Students “Speak Up” About Federal and State Laws

     Mountain View School District’s top student speakers showcased their public speaking and speech writing skills at the District’s annual Speak Up Contest.   Following the contest theme: “As a concerned member of our society, what state or federal law would you amend, support or repeal” each speaker shared, in a two to four minute speech, their opinions on a variety of laws impacting our society.    


       Stepping to the podium to present their well-researched, creatively written and articulately delivered speeches were 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from nine of the district’s schools.  Charged with the difficult task of judging the speeches were Amy Minick, Stephanie Lara and Danielle Rizo, teachers from Mt. View High School, who judged the speakers in the areas of content, delivery and language.  The trio of judges were greatly impressed by the young public speakers.

       “Year after year I continue to be awe-struck by the talent level of the student speakers,” said Minick.  “The quality of the speeches is exceptional and the confidence and poise each speaker exhibits is remarkable.  Tonight, once again they made our job as judges very difficult.”   

         In their speeches the students shared their support or opposition for laws addressing immigration, endangered species, women’s rights, global warming, DACA, the Dream Act and more. 

      The winner of the 7th and 8th grade division, DeAdalene Olmedo, from Madrid Middle School conveyed her strong support of the 19th Amendment and a woman’s right to vote. 

     “The 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote, has great value and should be supported by everyone,” said Olmedo.  “It is a beneficial law that was passed in 1920 after the women’s suffrage movement of the mid-19th century.  Thanks to this law, I look forward to taking full advantage of my right to vote when I turn 18.”

       Delivering a passionate speech on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was Juana Herrera, the winner of the 6th grade division, who believes in the policy and strongly supports it.

      “I believe it would be a great mistake to end DACA,” said Herrera.  “People who were raised and assimilated to American life should not be deported.  This executive order by Barack Obama provided hope for many immigrants but the hope ended under the new president who wants to stop all illegal immigration.  Fortunately a judge intervened for now, but it is uncertain how long it will last.”

       MVSD’s Superintendent, Lillian Maldonado French, was extremely proud of the students.

      “Every year our contestants are amazing.  Their ability to stay poised and compassionately convey their support or opposition for an issue as they confidently deliver their speeches to the crowd is outstanding,” said French.   “I appreciate the efforts of our teachers and speak up coaches for the tremendous support and encouragement they provide to our students.  The hard work was evident in all of the terrific speeches,” she said.

      Each of the 16 contestants was a school level winner in their school’s speak up contest and did a great job representing their schools at the District level competition.  With the support of their teachers and coaches they each spent many hours researching, writing and perfecting their speeches.  This year’s 6th grade participants included Yadira Miranda from Cogswell School, Hailey Mendieta and Janet Vazquez from Madrid Middle School, Juana Herrera from Maxson School, Liandra Farias from Miramonte School, Amy Salvador from Monte Vista School, Valente Diaz from Parkview School, Jose Luis Pinuelas from Payne School and Jaelynn Cruz from Twin Lakes School.   The 7th and 8th grade contestants included David Bu, Jade Lozano and Vanessa Reyes from Kranz Intermediate School, Michelle Do, Jesse Gonzalez and DeAdalene Olmedo from Madrid Middle School and Alexa Cardenas and Yunueth Cardenas Aguilar from Monte Vista School.    

       After reviewing the scoring sheets the judges emerged with the results.  Placing first in the 6th grade division was Juana Herrera from Maxson School, taking second place was Yadira Miranda from Cogswell School and third place went to Hailey Mendieta from Madrid Middle School.  Earning an honorable mention was Valente Diaz from Parkview School.  The 7th and 8th grade division winners included first place, DeAdalene Olmedo from Madrid, second place, Jade Lozano from Kranz, third place, Alexa Cardenas from Monte Vista and honorable mention, Jesse Gonzalez from Madrid.   

       Along with many family members and friends in attendance to support the students, Board of Education members, school and district administrators and staff all agreed the speakers were exceptional. 

     “The students were just amazing,” said Jacqueline Saldaña, Vice President of the Board of Education.  “The topics they chose to speak about are important and current to our situation and hearing these young students express their opinions on what they think the government should do is insightful and gives me great hope for our future.  They all make our District extremely proud.”

     The District Speak Up Contest is one of many academic enrichment activities MVSD offers to enhance the educational program and provide students the opportunity to express their views and develop skills that will help them in their high school, college and career journeys.    


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