• 46°

LaGrange Student to compete in Optimist International Oratorical World Championship

Fourteen-year-old LaGrange student Render McLeod will be competing in the Optimist International Oratorical World Championship next week in St. Louis, Missouri.  

McLeod was an eighth grade student at Gardner Newman Middle School during the 2018-2019 school year. He is a rising freshman at LaGrange High School.

LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton invited McLeod to practice his speech at the regular LaGrange City Council meeting Thursday evening. Mayor Thornton is a former county and zone level of the Optimist Oratorical Contest.

To get to the World Championship, Render had to win competitions at the school level, the county level, the Zone level, the Georgia Regional level, then the GATEway District level that includes Georgia and parts of Alabama and Tennessee. Render won first place at the GATEway District and earned a spot to compete in the Optimist International Oratorical World Championship.

The Optimist International Oratorical World Championship will be in St. Louis, Missouri at St. Louis University July 18-20. The winner will win $22,500 in scholarship money. McLeod won $2,500 at the GATEway District competition.

McLeod is a rising freshman at LaGrange High School. He is a member of Young Singers of West Georgia and the Lafayette Theatre Academy at LSPA. He was an active member of the Gardner Newman Middle School Band and will be a part of the LaGrange High School Marching Band playing saxophone in the fall. 

Render also served as a page for Georgia State Representative Randy Nix in February 2019. He loves politics and plans to be in politics one day. 

He has enjoyed the assistance from Thornton in helping to prepare for his competition in St. Louis.