The top performers in Valley Catholic Middle School’s 52nd Annual Speech Tournament display their trophies this spring. More than 400 students participated. (Courtesy Valley Catholic School)
The top performers in Valley Catholic Middle School’s 52nd Annual Speech Tournament display their trophies this spring. More than 400 students participated. (Courtesy Valley Catholic School)

BEAVERTON — This month students may be daydreaming about their next dip in the pool or summer camp adventure. But before the school year closed, more than 400 contestants from around the region participated in Valley Catholic Middle School’s 52nd Annual Speech Tournament.

“The competition helps young people find their voice and convey their talents through the fine art of verbal expression,” read a press release from Valley Catholic.

In eighth grade, the first place winners receive a scholarship to the Catholic high school of their choice within the Archdiocese of Portland. The eighth grade scholarship winners presented their elocution speech at the awards assembly. 

Sixth grader Lanie Cea from Cathedral School in Northwest Portland took first in the humorous category, while Jayden Soares of Valley Catholic earned the top spot for his patriotic speech. In the sixth grade serious category, Claire Cao from Valley Catholic was first.

In the seventh grade humorous category, Tanush Sistla of Valley Catholic earned first place. Patrick Phelps from St. Joseph School in Salem took first for his patriotic speech, and Ky Beemer of Valley Catholic earned the top spot in the serious category.

Ameera Eshtewi, an eighth grader from Oregon Islamic Academy, was first with her humorous speech and Michael Yoo of Valley Catholic earned the top spot for his patriotic recitation. Classmate Riya Majmudar was first for his serious speech.