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County students compete in speaking contest

The 2014 Pierce County Conservation and Environmental Awareness Speaking Contest participants are: front row, Sylvia Craig (Westside Elementary), Sophie Tibayan (Malone Elementary), Maddie Tibayan (Malone Elementary), Madison Hennen (Prescott Middle School); back row, Calvin Cox (Westside Elementary), Jacob Sammon (Westside Elementary), Natalie Canfield (Prescott Middle School), Anna Wolf (Malone Elementary), Maddie Johnson (Prescott Middle School), Anna Mercord (Prescott Middle School). (Submitted photos)1 / 2
The 2014 Pierce County Conservation and Environmental Awareness Speaking Contest winners are, left to right: Anna Mercord (first in Elementary Division), Natalie Canfield (first in Junior Division), Maddie Tibayan (third in Elementary Division), Sophie Tibayan (second in Elementary Division).2 / 2

Eleven students from Prescott Middle School, Westside Elementary in River Falls and Malone Elementary in Prescott presented their winning speeches at the 2014 Pierce County Conservation and Environmental Awareness Speaking Contest on Feb. 3.

These students prepared for this contest by researching an environmental concern related to their community, Pierce County or Wisconsin. They then spent time gathering information and learning about public speaking.

The following students spoke on various topics including: Junior Division, Natalie Canfield – The Gulf Oil Spill; Elementary Division, Anna Mercord – Algae in Wisconsin Lakes, Maddie Johnson – Rain Gardens, Madision Hannen – Erosion, Calvin Cox- Biomass-Biomass Energy, Sylvia Craig – Biomass-Renewable Energy, Jacob Sammon - Renewable Energy, Anna Wolf – Asian Flying Carp, Macy Cleasby – Eurasian Water Milfoil, Maddie Tibayan – Asian Carp in the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, Sophie Tibayan – Sand Mining in Wisconsin.

In the Elementary Division, Maddie Tibayan placed third and Sophie Tibayan placed second. Anna Mercord placed first in the Elementary Division (she was the county, area and state Elementary winner in 2013), and Natalie Canfield placed first in the Junior Division.

Mercord and Canfield will now go on to compete at the Area Contest, which is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Plaza Hotel and Suites in Eau Claire. These first-place students will be competing with students from the West Central area, which encompasses a nine-county area including: Barron, Buffalo, Dunn, Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce and St. Croix counties. Students who place first at the Area Contest will be eligible to compete at the state level. That contest is scheduled for Monday, March 10, in Appleton.

Contests at the Area and State Level begin with the contest, followed by a luncheon and finally an awards presentation with first-place speakers reciting their speeches after the luncheon.

The contest is sponsored by the Land Conservation Department and the University Extension 4-H Youth Development. Special appreciation goes to the judges and staff who worked so very hard with the youth at the speaking contest: DeWayne Benedict – LCC Member, Debra Larson – LCD Program Specialist, Amy VanDeBrake – UW Extension Agriculture Educator and Rod Webb – LCD Director. Also, special appreciation goes to the instructors from Prescott Middle School, West Side Elementary School and Malone Elementary School, as well as the parents of all the students who presented such awesome speeches!