Eight NDA Freshmen Compete in Optimist Club Contest


Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Every spring Notre Dame Academy freshmen spend a week or so in English class honing their speaking skills and participating in the Optimist Club speech contest.

This freshman tradition is NDA’s first step in sending students to the statewide contest where winners can come home with a $3000 college scholarship.

Every student writes a speech and delivers it in front of his English class, and the freshman teachers decide which students to send on to the area competition.

This year the topic on optimism centered around a question: “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”

The eight freshmen selected to compete at the zone competition here at NDA on Tuesday, April 16, were Skylar Schultz, Nicole Waystedt, Ricardo Torres, Kate Treankler, Aidan Clancy, Abby Elfner, John Nolle and Anna Gruesen.

“Unfortunately, none of our speakers advanced, although Kate Treankler finished in third place and could go to the next level of competition if one of the two Parkview Middle School winners  can’t go,” said English teacher Carolyn Brown.

“The Notre Dame freshmen were great and have nothing to apologize for.  Like the Optimist Club leaders said, every year the speeches get better and better,” she added.

About 60 parents and guests listened to the 10 speakers while judges from various walks of life evaluated and decided on the winners.

NDA has had numerous scholarship winners, including Charlotte news anchor Morgan Heyrman, whose feature story is in the Online Tritonian.