Hillside Montessori’s Katt Martin wins oratorical contest at zone level

Published 8:30 am Friday, March 24, 2023

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Hillside Montessori student Katt Martin has won the zone level of competition in the annual Optimists Club oratorical contest.

On Saturday, the Optimist Club of LaGrange sent two Hillside Montessori students to the zone level of competition for their annual oratorical contest.

Katt Martin, 12, and Sophie Cauble, 11, advanced from the local competition held on Feb. 13 to compete in Zebulon, Georgia for the zone level of competition.

Martin and Cauble competed against seven students who had placed in their local Optimist Club competition earlier this year. The competition included students from Columbus, Carrollton, LaGrange, Senioa and Zebulon.

After 30 minutes of deliberation, Martin was selected by the judges to be the winner of the zone competition.

Cauble had won the prior local competition, and Martin earned silver in the event.  For the competition, the students were asked to write and orate a four to five-minute speech on the theme: “Finding the Optimism in Me.”

After finishing second locally, Martin practiced hard since her first competition and won first in the zone, said Optimist Club member Hill Daniel.

“She gave the same speech she gave at the local level, but she practiced and improved her oratorical skills in the meantime,” Daniel said.

Martin said she entered the competition to improve at speaking.

“I’m probably the worst person in my class to give presentations,” Martin said.

Martin will now move on to the West Georgia area level of competition on April 1 in Carrollton for a chance to advance to the Georgia-Tennessee District competition, where she would compete to earn a scholarship of $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place and $1,000 for third.

The winner of the district will be sent to the Optimist International Regional level in St. Louis, Missouri to compete in the Optimist International Regional/World Championship for a chance to win an additional $5,000 or up to a $15,000 scholarship.

Martin said the chance at a scholarship was one of the reasons she entered the competition.

“I was also motivated by the scholarship. That’s going to motivate me to do it every year,” she said.

Nearly 2,000 Optimist Clubs participate in this program each year. More than $150,000 in college scholarships are funded by Optimist International annually through the program.