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chelby morris

Bruce County Public Speaking champion Chelby Morris of École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School (ÉPESCS) won the Junior division for a second year in a row March 21 for her speech on child marriage. Photo submitted

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For the second year in a row Chelby Morris, a Grade 6 student at École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School (ÉPESCS) has won the Junior division of the Bruce County Public Speaking Competition. Her topic this year was child marriage and she said the topic had been weighing on her mind ever since her family visited Thailand last summer. “It was pretty sad,” she said. “I heard about it but I never really understood...that it happens and it happened to girls who are poor and under educated and they don’t get the chance to get help and that’s something I want to change,” added the Grade 6 student.

Morris won the Junior division in 2017 for her speech on Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to attend an all white school. Morris said her win in 2017 “felt really good” because “I worked really hard and I was only in Grade 5 up against Grade 6.”

Currently Morris is not looking into a career as a public speaker as she wants to be an Orthodontist but noted that excelling at public speaking will help with school. For anyone looking for tips on the craft, she said that practice makes perfect. “You need to research first and then take lots of notes; you want to read over it at least once a day and memorize it,” she advised. “What I like to do is read one card a few times then move on to the next card a little later,” she said, adding that she felt really nervous this year but just tried to take deep breaths, think about things that help to calm her and pray.

Morris, along with many students in Saugeen Shores, participated in speeches at the school level. Morris placed first in her category at ÉPESCS, allowing her to move on to competition at the Port Elgin Legion Branch 340. There she placed first, taking her onto the Legion zone where she placed third. Other finalists at the Branch 340 competition were Olivia Hyndman of ÉPESCS who placed second and Mackenzie Wheeler of Northport Elementary School who came in third.

Morris’ first place win at her school allowed her to move to District level competition in Paisley March 6 and then county competition on March 21 in front of judges Bruce County Warden Paul Eagleson, South Bruce Mayor Robert Buckle and Police Constable Adam Janes. Both competitions resulted in first place finishes for Morris. Northport Public School’s Evrin Dereli and her speech on What Makes A Genius also made it to the Bruce County competition after placing first in Paisley in the Senior category. Dereli placed third at the county level.

county competition

Chelby Morris (left) of ÉPESCS and Evrim Dereli of Northport Elementary School both placed first at the District level, March 6 in Paisley. Evrim won the Senior level and Cheby the Junior. Photo submitted

chelby morris paul eagleson

Bruce County Warden Paul Eagleson was one of the judges at the county competition March 21. Photo submitted

speech three

The top three speeches at the Port Elgin Royal Canadian Legion Branch 340 competition were Chelby Morris (left), Mackenzie Wheeler and Olivia Hyndman (right). Photo submitted


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