Charles Rice student named top orator during 25th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. competition


Sierra Jones, a fifth-grader at Charles Rice Learning Center, today was named the top orator during the 25th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. She competed alongside seven other finalists at The Majestic Theatre.

Jace Roberson, a fifth-grader at J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard, took second place. Asad King, a fourth-grader at William Brown Miller Elementary, took the third spot.

Each of the eight fourth- and fifth-grade Dallas ISD elementary school students presented original speeches addressing the topic: “If Dr. King were alive today, what would he say about Muhammad Ali’s contribution to society?”

The competition is co-presented by Dallas ISD and incorporates ideals from Dr. King’s writings and speeches.

This year, 25 campuses took part in the annual competition where students participated in the in-school competitions held in October to qualify for 25 positions to represent their school in the semifinal round. Then, eight finalists were selected to advance. At all three levels of competition, students were judged on their delivery, stage presence, content interpretation and memorization. Finalists will receive monetary gifts in varying amounts, along with Amazon tablets and a host of other prizes.

Each year the free event, which is open to the public, is presented, hosted and sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

This is the second consecutive year a student from Charles Rice has been named the winner. In 2015, a student from Rice placed third in the competition.

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