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Ennis future secure with kids like these

Ennis is heading in a great direction.
How do I know this? Because I’ve been inside every school in Ennis and I see first hand the great things that are going on with students. This might sound cliché, but children really are our future.
On one of my many trips to Ennis High School, after being mistaken for a dress code-violating student (I’ll be 24 in a week, but I guess I look young for my age) I made my way to Theatre Director/Speech Team sponsor Tonya Harper’s office to get some information for a few different stories I was writing.
When she introduced me to some of the students who were heading to the State UIL Competition, I went through the standard question and answer interview. When I asked what they had to do to prepare for the competition, one student’s answer completely floored me.
Julian Erdmann, who will be competing in Informative Speaking in Austin next week, prepared for his event by doing several hours of research every week. He scoured news Web sites every day for information on current events ranging from the attack on the U.S. cargo ship Maersk Alabama to the role France plays in NATO.
During each meet in his event, he is given a set of questions from which to choose. All of the questions refer to current events, and he only has a limited amount of time to pick a question and write his speech, taking information from the research he has completed.
Ms. Harper gave me a list of possible questions in the event from the regional competition that took place at the end of April. As someone who works in the news business, I try to stay informed about news happenings locally, nationally and around the world. I am a National Public Radio (NPR) junkie, but I had never heard of about half the events to which the questions pertained. In addition to what I’m sure is a fairly demanding load of schoolwork, Julian works hard to make sure he is informed and ready to compete.
This isn’t to say Taylor Dodson and Adrian Arteaga don’t work hard, because they do. Taylor’s event is Poetry Interpretation and Adrian’s is Prose Interpretation. I was thoroughly amazed at their abilities, and the artistic flair they must bring to each reading of their respective pieces. It must take a lot of effort to keep their selections fresh after reading them at various competitions throughout the year. In fact, both have added new pieces to their repertoire to keep things exciting. Taylor and Adrian also had to search for pieces that were perfect for them.
These three students are examples of teenagers who are on the right track. If they can go through the rest of their lives working as hard as they do in high school, and if there are students everywhere like these three, our world will be a better place to live.
Liz Crawford is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at liz@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on May 22 2009. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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