This week we held the annual senior public speaking competition at Ridley. As a longstanding tradition at Ridley, the public speaking awards are much sought after prizes. There are three categories for the public speaking contest: Junior, English as a Second Language and Senior. Thank you to David Willmot and Greg Thompson from the Class of 1968, and teacher Mr. Spencer Martin for judging the public speaking competition as well as Tim Griffin ’68 for his support. These members of the class of 1968 along with Chris Carter ’68 and Brian Iggulden ’67 have been instrumental in creating a fund to promote the Speaking Arts named after ‘W. Darcy McKeough ’51.’ Please view the speeches below:
Our Senior division Dr. W.H. Merritt Memorial Prize Winner is Kaliene Jackson:
The Senior division runner-up Honorable Mr. Justice A. Courtney Kingstone Award winner was Aidan Robertson:
The ESL Thomas Kwok Award winner was David Xiaochen Xue. This is a very special award started by an Old Ridleian, Thomas Kwok ’10 who was an English as a Second Language student. Thomas competed in the public speaking competition when he was a student and thought there should be a special category for ESL students who had the courage to compete.
The Junior Division Family Guild Award winner was Monica Morcous:
Over 70 VEX Robotics teams met in Toronto to battle it out in the first tournament of the season. For the Ridley team, our first matches were shaky. Ray Gao’s team (1509) of himself, Nina Haag and Daniel Marcos settled in quickly though and performed at their best after their first match, finishing with a 5-1 record.
Our other team (1509E) with driver James Gross, programmer Jonah Rubin and a revolving set of builders and helpers that included Ryan Schmidt, Heather Curtis, Padraic Odesse, Ava O’Toole, Antonio Aspite and Andy Li, had our normal level of bad luck. After missing a win by 2 points (42-40), having a rough call by a judge and a disconnecting controller, their record in the round robin left them seeded 27th out of 70 with a 3-3 record and an unlikely chance to be picked in an alliance for the quarter finals. However, their luck turned. One of the best teams at the contest chose them as a partner because of 1509E’s strong ability to complement the scoring the other machine could already do well. Together they scored some of the highest scores registered in the world to date and won the tournament.
It was exciting, nerve racking action but 1509E narrowly won the best 2 out of 3 in the finals after losing the first finals match. A great comeback for the Orange and Black. Your teams represented the school well. Our next big contest is December 13th here in St. Catharines at Governor Simcoe high school. Check out video from the tournament:
In addition to the head-to-head competition, Ray Gao participated in the one minute driver’s skills challenge. His score of 39 is currently tied for 15th in the world!! There have been thousands of attempts by teams worldwide at this challenge to date and Ray’s score is now one of the best around.
Written by Mr. Reimer, VEX Robotics Mentor