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Optimism Declaimed, Wonderfully

Fourteen eager students, aged eleven to fourteen, from Sacred Heart Parish School and Coronado Middle School, spoke on the topic Is There A Fine Line Between Reality and Optimism? at the Coronado Optimists 48th Annual Oratorical Contest on February 27th in the Library’s Winn Room. All the students carried themselves well and dealt with this seemingly dry topic with winning charm, vivacity, and persuasive sincerity to the delight of parents, siblings, and Optimists filling the Coronado Library’s Winn Room. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medallion winners were: Logan McKerring, Valeria Quiroga, and Marietta Renison. Bravos to all!

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There were many memorable moments in the students’ 4 – 5 minute speeches. They quoted many historic optimists including Henry Ford, “…If you think you can or you can’t, you are right,” “…Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently,” and added their own insightful aphorisms, “…Reality is life, optimism makes life better,” “…Reality is the facts of life that surround you, but optimism is a positive lens through which you view your reality,” “…Things happen because of our optimism in ourselves and in others,” “…If Jack can climb the beanstalk, you can get your job…,” “…it was through optimism and family love that we got through that reality…,” “….Optimism is a state of mind…that can steer you to accept any reality…,” and “I am optimistic that I have a chance of winning this contest today, and that is my way of showing optimism in reality.”

Coronado Optimist Club President Carla Fargo and President-elect Dennis Dorman presented each student a well-earned Certificate of Participation and thanked the parents and teachers for encouraging their students to enter the contest. All were very proud of their students, daughters and sons who are terrific young adults with bright futures!

Judges for the contest were Mike Lavin, Paul Lull, and George Kunberger, with Sue Cargill serving as timekeeper; Marta Radcliffe, Julia Turpit, and Molly McKay as greeters/curators; Pat Kelly, Sergeant-At-Arms; Lee Cargill, photographer; Irish Flynn, contest scribe; and Gene Rathswohl, contest coordinator – Optimist Club members all.

Special thanks goes both to Courtnie Marshall, Sacred Heart’s Language Arts teacher, and Matt Smith, Coronado Middle School’s History/Humanities teacher, who worked so diligently to prepare their students – great examples of teaching with optimism, truly.

Left-to-right: Gene Rathswohl, Contest Coordinator; Courtnie Marshall, Sacred Heart Parish School Language Arts teacher; Marietta Renison (Bronze); Valeria Quiroga (Silver); President Carla Fargo; and Logan McKerring (Gold)

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Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:


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