George Hartmann Advances in Optimist Club Speech Competition


Nathaniel Smith, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Contest Update:  Freshman George Hartmann will represent the Green Bay Optimist Clubs at the May 12 zone competition in Stevens Point.  If he wins there, he not only advances toward a national title but also earns a $2500 scholarship for college. 

Other finalists in Monday night’s competition included C. J. Skogg, Kyra Merriman and Taylor LeFever.

Each freshman English student at Notre Dame experiences the tradition of presenting the Optimist Club speech.  All of the students need to present a speech, and the top students to go on to zone competition are selected by the the teachers.  

The optimism speeches are a mandatory part of the speech unit taught in the freshman English courses.

Notre Dame has had many different state winners, including the first scholarship winner Samantha Pallini, older sister of Max, Vinny and Adam.  Now in law school, Samantha was followed recently by state winners Katrina Dietsche and Diego Mendoza, both of whom won a $2500 scholarship..

One boy and and one girl will attend one of the Optimist clubs here in Green Bay.  The club, which will be the official sponsor of the contestant, requests that the person and his or her parents to go to a lunch at the club where the students will present their speech. Should the club’s speaker or speakers win at the zone competition, the club pays for their weekend visit to the state contest.

The zone competition for area speakers will be held at NDA on April 17.

The hosting clubs are Preble Optimist Club at Wally’s Spot, Allouez Optimist Club at Village Grille, Green Bay Downtown Optimist Club at St. Brendan Inn and the Noon Optimist club at Four Seasons Tennis Club.  

The freshmen that will be participating in the zone competition are Taylor LeFever, Macy Augustine, Maddie Gage, Kyra Merriman, Kennedi Turriff, George Hartmann, Alex Gutowski, CJ Skogg, Alex Brabant and Will Drake.  

“Public speaking is an art as important as writing,” said English teacher Carolyn Brown.”When Mr. Metzler approached us about integrating the contest into our curriculum, we made it our speech unit for Freshman English.  Even if a student doesn’t move on to the zone competition, he gets a framework for speaking in public. The ones that DO move on have a great opportunity to win scholarship money.”