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Students advance after winning optimist contest

Contributed report

Karen Callaway, Gardner Newman Middle School teacher, stands with winners of the Optimist Club girls oratorical contest, from left, Libby Criswell, first place; Bethany Forbus, second place; and Sarah Beth Batchelor, third place.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Optimist-Oratorical-Girls_2016-4-1-.jpgKaren Callaway, Gardner Newman Middle School teacher, stands with winners of the Optimist Club girls oratorical contest, from left, Libby Criswell, first place; Bethany Forbus, second place; and Sarah Beth Batchelor, third place. Contributed | Troup County schools
Natalie Phillips, Optimist Club president and Scott Cook, Optimist oratorical chair, stand with winners of the Optimist Club boys oratorical contest, from left, Ethan Hadaway, Gardner Newman Middle School, second place; Collin Sanders, Long Cane Middle School, first place; Brant Williams, Gardner Newman Middle School, third place and .
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Optimist-Oratorical-Boys_2016-3-.jpgNatalie Phillips, Optimist Club president and Scott Cook, Optimist oratorical chair, stand with winners of the Optimist Club boys oratorical contest, from left, Ethan Hadaway, Gardner Newman Middle School, second place; Collin Sanders, Long Cane Middle School, first place; Brant Williams, Gardner Newman Middle School, third place and . Contributed | Troup County schools

LaGRANGE — Two eighth grade students, Libby Criswell from Gardner Newman Middle School and Collin Sanders from Long Cane Middle School, recently won the Optimist Club of LaGrange’s oratorical contest based on a theme of “How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others.”

Criswell and Sanders were each awarded an Optimist Club medallion and a monetary gift from CB&T of LaGrange for the honor. In addition, they will now advance to the zone level competition and compete against other Optimist Club winners who advanced in their local areas.

If either student wins the zone competition, they will move up to the district level where they have a chance to win a scholarship. One more level of competition, the regional/world championship, is possible with a chance to win up to $15,000 in additional scholarship funds.

Both Criswell and Sanders presented their speeches during an afternoon luncheon, along with 11 other students from across the county. Scott Cook, chair for the Optimist Oratorical contest stated that the judges had a difficult time selecting the winners from the outstanding presentations of each student.

Each person is given the same topic, “How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others,” and must prepare and present a four to five minute speech about the given topic. They are judged on pose, presentation of topic and time.

From a press release submitted by Troup County School System.