For more information, please contact:

Lesley Melancon
Director of Communications
(504) 891-5509

Cottonwood Oratory Winners Announced

Monday, December 11, 2017

The final round of the 22nd annual St. George's Cottonwood Oratory Festival was held on Friday, December 8th with students, family and faculty in attendance. Winners were named in both the junior division (fifth and sixth grades) and senior division (seventh and eighth grades). Sixth grader Ben K. won the junior division and seventh grader Lucy W. won the senior division. 

Founded 21 years ago by St. George's teacher Mike Riemer, the festival aims to prepare students for public speaking, along with building self-confidence and poise in front of an audience. Each fall, students in grades 5th through 8th, select a written passage of their choosing with topics that range from fiction to non-fiction, humor, satire and more. After months of preparation and memorization, students then recite their passages in front of their fellow language arts classmates during the preliminary round of Cottonwood Oratory. From that round the semifinalists are chosen to perform in front of judges and their entire grade. The judges then narrow down the group and choose the finalists, consisting of two students from each grade. Those students then present in the final round, which is open for parents, classmates and guests to attend.

Language Arts Department Chair, Tanya Musa emceed the event as she does each year and between each division, members of the Lower School and Middle School Chorus performed a selection of holiday carols under the direction of Dee Dee Johnson and Frank Convit.

The finalists in each grade were as follows:

5th: Teddy C., 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marques 
5th: Rylan C., “The Black Dog” by Alvin Schwartz 
5th: Ceci H., “The Girl Who Silenced the World for Five Minutes” by Severn Cullis-Suzuki 
6th: Madden G., The Story of Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad by Kate McMullan 
6th: Ben K., The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
7th: Kira H., Hamlet by William Shakespeare 
7th: Lucy W., 1 Dead in Attic by Chris Rose 
8th: Fiona C., “For Teenage Girls with Wild Ambition and Trembling Hearts” by Clementine von Radics 
8th: Jack G., “McDonald’s” by Jim Gaffigan

Special thanks to the Cottonwood Oratory guest judges for taking time out of their day to attend: Ramona Fernandez, Ron Gural, Hayley Harang and Eli Timm. Congratulations to all of our middle school students on their hard work and courage throughout this event!


  • DSC_0977.JPG
  • DSC_0957.JPG
  • DSC_0940.JPG
  • DSC_0905.JPG
  • DSC_0884.JPG
  • DSC_0876.JPG
  • DSC_0868.JPG
  • DSC_0864.JPG
  • DSC_0862.JPG
  • DSC_0842.JPG
  • DSC_0835.JPG
  • DSC_0820.JPG
  • DSC_0802.JPG
  • DSC_0798.JPG
  • DSC_0797.JPG
  • DSC_0773.JPG
  • DSC_0769.JPG
  • DSC_0748.JPG
  • DSC_0738.JPG
  • DSC_0731.JPG
  • DSC_0720.JPG
  • DSC_0702.JPG
  • DSC_0700.JPG
  • DSC_0697.JPG
  • DSC_0442.JPG
  • DSC_0414.JPG
  • DSC_0409.JPG
  • DSC_0402.JPG
  • DSC_0399.JPG
  • cw_judges.JPG
  • cottonwood_oratory.jpg