Sam Nennig Headed to State Oratorical Contest

Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

For the past month, freshman students at Notre Dame have been giving the traditional Optimist Club speeches to their classes. The Optimist Clubs around the area have sponsored this competition for over 15 years.

The speech, a part of the freshman curriculum, is a grade for most of the freshmen. After all the students give the speeches to their classes, the freshman English teachers decide which speakers to send on to the next level. This year, NDA sent four freshman girls and four freshman boys to the local club contest held at our school last week.

Sam Nennig was one of the four boys to make it to the club level. Nennig gave his speech to the Optimist Club that he was chosen to represent and then won first place at zone, outscoring other club winners.  Now he will be competing at state on May 2.

Nennig’s speech featured the metaphorical term–is the glass half full or half empty?– but with a new twist. Nennig said he looked at the glass as an opportunity to fill it all the way up. He also told his loon-calling story.

For those of you who don’t know, Nennig is a loon-calling champion. Every year, Mercer, Wisconsin, holds a loon festival which features a national loon-calling competition. Nennig won first place in the loon-calling competition in 2013.

This year state is being held at The Tundra Lodge here in Green Bay. If Nennig wins state, he will receive $2500 in college scholarship money. Last year both Katrina Dietsche and Diego Mendoza won state and the scholarship money.

“I feel after delivering the speech three times and practicing in front of a mirror countless times that I have it under control.  I’m not that nervous,” says Nennig about the upcoming  state competition.