Middletown High School students Brandon Dawson, Macie Pennington and Ariana Gaston were selected as state finalists in Delaware FFA public speaking competitions following last week's preliminary rounds.
A total 82 FFA members from 13 high school chapters from across the state competed in creed speaking, prepared public speaking and extemporaneous public speaking Jan. 31, during the first-ever Delaware FFA Career Development Event Preliminaries at the Delaware Department of Education Collette Education Resource Center in Dover.
Dawson chose the topic, “Why agricultural education is so relevant and important to have in urban school settings,” from the three possible selections extemporaneous public speaking competitors must choose from when they arrive. The students are then given 30 minutes to prepare a four- to six-minute speech they give before a panel of judges, who then ask the students questions about their topic.
Pennington and Gaston both competed in the creed speaking event, in which they recited the FFA Creed and were judged on stage presence, tone, enunciation, pronunciation and command of material. Students in that competition then must answer three questions about their personal convictions regarding the future of agriculture, the leadership opportunities available through FFA and their community involvement.
As state finalists, all three students will now go on to compete at the 84th Delaware FFA State Convention at the University of Delaware’s Clayton Hall on March 26. State winners will represent the Delaware FFA Association at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Ky., in October.