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Junior Speeches: An Academy Tradition 

The first group of speakers for the 2022-2023 school year. Ms. Soderberg, Shaia Y., Alli K., Jim P., Akshaj J., and Ms. Seymore (Courtesy/ @columbusacademy Instagram) 

As a graduation requirement, each junior is required to present a six-minute speech in front of the upper school. Language Arts teacher, Ms. Seymore, the Junior Speech advisor, prepares the speaker for a month prior to their delivery date. 

Many hands go into this tradition. Mr. Dow helps with the dates and organizes the speaking dates for the groups. Ms. Izokaitis, Mr. Thompson, and Dr. Ritter also oversee this process when necessary. Teachers  of juniors are accommodating in terms of tests and missing class for practices. 

This tradition is only one example of how tightly knit our community is. Because COVID took away the hug-line procedure, Student Council started online junior speech compliments, so students could have a chance to congratulate the week’s speakers.

As a first-ever surprise for the juniors, Ms. Seymore surprised the class with cookies baked by Ms. Compton for completing their speeches. There were chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies with frosting, and gluten free options. 

The following week, Ms. Seymore held an introductory meeting with the current sophomores on Tuesday, May 9, to kick off the process for the rising juniors.  

Good luck to the Class of 2025 next year, and congratulations to the Class of 2024 for reaching this milestone and to Ms. Seymore for her hard work.


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