Stamford Student Abigail Sirota Wins Speech Contest At The Harvey School

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Middle School winner, sixth-grader Abigail Sirota (left)( of Stamford, Conn.) with Upper School winner, junior Mary Nichols (right, from Greenwich, Conn.)
Middle School winner, sixth-grader Abigail Sirota (left)( of Stamford, Conn.) with Upper School winner, junior Mary Nichols (right, from Greenwich, Conn.)
Finalists from the speech contest at The Harvey School
Finalists from the speech contest at The Harvey School

KATONAH, N.Y. -- The Harvey School in Katonah selected the winners of its annual speech contest on Thursday, Dec. 19. 

This year’s upper school winner is junior Mary Nichols with a speech entitled “To All Ye Martyrs of Heartbreak, the Apocalypse Is Not Nigh.” In her speech, flavored with some self-effacing humor, Mary recounted her own personal tale of being once spurned by her romantic interest and counseled her schoolmates to never lose hope.

Mary said she wanted her speech to help other students learn to deal with personal setbacks. She said, “I just wanted my classmates to know what I learned so when their hearts end up in pieces, they can use my advice to avoid getting into a funk.”

The upper school runner-up was 10th-grader Jasmine Brouwer who won Honorable Mention for her speech on the role fate plays in our lives.

The middle school winner, Abigail Sirota, delivered a speech called “Believe in Yourself.” In her speech, she recalled how she lacked confidence when she was younger, but credits her parents and friends with developing her self- confidence. “They helped boost me up and believe in myself,” she said.

Seventh-grader Brooke Dodderidge of Mount Kisco earned Honorable Mention in the middle school competition for her speech entitled, “An Organized Mess.”

The finalists from middle school were Maxwell Weigel, sixth-grader and Kylene Groff, eighth-grader of Katonah, Hana Cornell, eighth-grader of Amawalk, Zoe Lewis, seventh-grader.

Finalists from upper school were Sami  Feuerstein, ninth-grader, Curtis Grellier, ninth-grader, Emily Sirota tenth-grader, Marcus Plummer 11th-grader, Lily Brouwer, 12th-grader, and Harry Solomon, 12th -grader of Bedford.

A panel of three judges, including Bedford Town Supervisor Lee Roberts, chose the upper and middle school winners in The Harvey School’s 55th annual speech contest in the Lasdon Theater of The Walker Center for the Arts. Joining Supervisor Roberts on the judging panel were Harvey alumni Phil Eifert, owner of Allstate Katonah Insurance Agency and attorney Albert Durante of Durante, Bock & Tota, PLLC in Yorktown Heights.

The English teachers narrowed the field to 14 finalists who presented their speeches before the judges at the assembly of the entire school community of students and staff as well as members of the board of trustees and the parents of the contestants.

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