Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
Jaclyn Schess, a 17-year-old junior at Syosset High School, was recently awarded first place in the 2013 Nassau County Public Speaking Competition.
Sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Association and The Friends of Sagamore Hill, Schess triumphed over nearly 50 students who competed.
“Having this recognition at the culmination of my junior year has really been meaningful to me as it represents all the hard work I have put in for the last three years,” Schess said.
Schess first got involved with public speaking when she joined the Forensics (Speech and Debate) team at Syosset, where she started to develop skills and became eager to enter any competition she came across.
“The Theodore Roosevelt Competition was first brought to my attention by my AP World History teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Cho,” Schess said. “She had heard me give a speech for student government elections and thought that this public speaking competition would be perfect for me - She had me read David McCullough’s Mornings On Horseback (a detailed biography of TR), and my notes from that book have been vital to my entrance in the competition for all three years of high school.”
Along with entering in the TR public speaking contest, Schess has participated in the American Legion High School Oratorical Contest for the past two years. This year, Schess advanced five levels on to the Department (state) level of this competition, and came in second place, runner up to compete in Nationals.
Schess has also seen success in my participation in Forensics, being one of three from the Long Island-NYC district that qualified for nationals in Indianapolis my sophomore year. Schess advanced to quarterfinals at states in Forensics last year.
“I am very interested in International Relations/Political Science with some focus on Global Health,” Schess said. “Hopefully this means a job with the government, but I am very open to where my interests lead me through college and grad school.”
Schess said if she could choose any school to attend, it would be the University of Virginia, though she won’t know where she is accepted until Winter.
“I think public speaking is a vital skill no matter what profession you go into,” Schess said. “Even if it’s not speaking in front of hundreds of people, the ability to get your ideas across clearly to a few people sitting around a conference table is a very important skill to have.”