few clouds


Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 56  |  July 14, 2020

Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School hosts successful Oral Presentation Contest

Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School held its longstanding tradition, the Annual Oral Presentation Contest, this past Friday. For over 25 years Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School, in Laguna Beach, has encouraged and supported students in their efforts to become effective and impactful speakers. 

Statistics state that over 238 million people suffer from “Glossophobia”, the fear of public speaking. The event’s purpose is to alleviate the fear of public speaking and instill self-confidence for students to carry for a lifetime.

First grade through Middle School Saint Catherine students demonstrated that there is power in the spoken word at the annual Oral Presentation Contest.

Saint Catherine group

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Middle schoolers with the three judges

Dr. Jennifer Maan, School Principal, encouraged students to hold strong to this tradition stating, “Our Oral Presentation Contest is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talent and skills that each student possesses in the art of public speaking. All students are invited to recite a poem, speech, or short story that they have either written themselves or have chosen from a published author. This contest promotes the art of public speaking, which is an essential skill for students to master.”

The Oral Presentation Contest is a longstanding tradition where students are able to share their presentation skills reciting memorized prose, poetry, or short stories that are meaningful to them. Some of the students captured moments from their favorite stories, some recited poetry or a favorite passage from the Bible, while others appeared bound to be motivational speakers with moving pieces regarding positivity and self-acceptance.

Saint Catherine Ashton

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LBPD’s Colonel Cornelius Ashton with the upper grade winners

There were three separate categories for the contest. The first category was for the first and second grades. The second category was for the third, fourth, and fifth grades. The final category was for the middle school grades. 

Each class was provided with a rubric, an outlined statement of function, to follow so that there was a clear methodology to judging each level.

There were three guest judges from the community at large which added an extra exciting element to the competition.

Saint Catherine was especially pleased by their three judges this year, including LBPD’s Colonel Cornelius Ashton.

The second judge was Mr. Bob Cooper, who is the Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in San Clemente.

The third judge was Mrs Anita Murphy, a successful family therapist.

The students all performed their oral presentations and the judges tallied their scores. The TK and Kindergarten classes provided Thanksgiving songs and entertained until the judges were ready to share their scores.

Win or lose, everyone had a terrific time, and the students all had a wonderful opportunity to showcase their skills. The community came together to show its support for this successful event, now 25 years strong.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: [email protected] for questions about advertising


Email: [email protected] with news releases, letters, etc.


© 2020 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.