And then there were eight.
After the 16 semifinalists delivered their speeches this week, the field was narrowed to eight finalists who will vie for the top prize on Jan. 18, 2019, at W.H. Adamson High School.
The finalists are:
• Kaiya Hudson, fifth grade, Charles Rice Learning Center
• Layla James, fifth grade, Ronald E. McNair Elementary
• Jasira King, fourth grade, William Brown Miller Elementary
• Tynia Matts, fifth grade, John Neely Bryan Elementary
• Presley Rivers, fifth grade, Harry C. Withers Elementary
• Tory Robertson Jr., fifth grade, Clara Oliver Elementary
• Kimberli Rouwtt, fourth grade, J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard
• Alexandra Torres, fifth grade, Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary
This year’s question posed to participants is, What would Dr. Martin Luther King say to the children of today?
Judging is based on the speeches that the students write, memorize and deliver on stage. Campus winners from the 16 participating schools advanced to the semifinals. The top eight orators in the semifinals advance to the finals.
This is the 27th year for the competition to be conducted in Dallas. Law firm Gardere Wynn Sewell had coordinated the event, but merged with another firm this year, Foley Lardner. The combined firm is known locally as Foley Gardere.