2019 Rustin High School Speaking Contest

2019 Rustin High School Speaking Contest

Winners of the 2019 Rustin High School Speaking Contest Capri Mancini (left), Jenna Walls, Aubrey Eason

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Rustin High School Speaking Contest. The contest, which is one of the West Chester Area School District's longest standing traditions, highlights students' public speaking skills. The first contest was held at West Chester High School nearly 100 years ago. Civil Rights activist, Bayard Rustin, for whom Rustin High School is named after, won the competition in 1931.

To prepare for the contest, each of the eleven competitors worked with a faculty member who coached them on their selections. The students performed before a live audience consisting of students, teachers, parents, and community members on April 26. They were judged on their audience awareness, projection, inflection, diction, pacing, and movement. There is no amplification system used.

This year's first place winner was senior Capri Mancini who recited an excerpt from David McCullough’s Wellesley High School commencement address. Second place went to sophomore Jenna Walls who talked about the need to set boundaries as described by Sarah Smith. Junior Aubrey Eason won third place with a selection from fellow Rustin student, Kim Le's speech, entitled “Reaching Out to Save Lives: Destigmatizing Mental Health Disorders in America’s Youth Through the Lens of a High School Student.

Last year's winner, 2018 graduate Caroline Franco returned from her freshman year at Northeastern University to host this year's event.

Please click here to watch a video recap of the 2019 Rustin High School Speaking Contest.