This year two very confident young women from St. Joseph School tied for First Place in the Dryden Rotary Ian Nixon Memorial Public Speaking Contest. They are Kaitlin Viherjoki and Kira Graver. Both girls are in Grade 8. 

(L-R) Kaitlin Viherjoki, Kira Graver and Jed Nixon
The two runners-up, Fiona Cook (2nd) and Raili Makela (3rd), are from the same Open Roads School and are also in Grade 8.
Fiona Cook and MC Rtn. Lea Ann Benson
Raili Makela and MC Rtn.Lea Anne Benson
The students this year were coached by Rotarian Kendra Saville a Toastmaster experienced specialist. Of course, that is in addition to the training they received from their teachers Lindsay Darling and Joe Hart.
Parents and teachers were present as their daughters spoke to Dryden Rotarians. They also granted permission for their speeches to be videoed and shared with the community.
Ian Nixon’s son Jed presented the two girls with the Ian Nixon Memorial Trophy.
Raili Makela (3rd Place) Topic “Perseverance.”
Key Points:
  • quoted M. L. King “ If you can't fly then run if you can't run then walk if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
  • noted some people who failed but kept going - such as Walt Disney who was fired by a newspaper for lacking imagination
  • to stay motivated, you have to believe in yourself
Fiona Cook ( 2nd Place) Topic “The Power of Music.”
Key Points:
  • Music is the medicine of the mind.
  • Music stimulates emotions and makes you feel better.
  • Music can improve academic performance by improving both visual and verbal skills in young children,
  • Beethoven and Mozart are examples as both had 165 IQs which is about 65 points above the average
Kaitlin Viherjoki (1st Place tie) Topic  “Over-involved parents need to step back.”
Key Points:
  • Kids need to learn to be independent and learn from their own mistakes.
  • Helicopter parents make their children think they are the centre of the universe and cannot fail
Kira Graver (1st Place tie) Topic was “We Must Have Three Day Weekends”
  • Students must have three day weekends to relieve stress and anxiety.
  • People sitting for most of the day are most likely to get heart disease.
  • Kids could get more sleep if they have an extra day.
  • It would prevent burn out - and attendance and health would be better - 88% of kids in her class agree !!