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JO-ANNE IS TOP SPEAKER

JO-ANNE IS TOP SPEAKER

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Her reasoning portrayed a depth of character more profound than her petite frame tended to suggest. But once she was into the delivery, she forged ahead of all other contenders.

And with fluent ease, analytical instinct, positive and prophetic pronouncements, Jo Anne Marshall became the 2004 Cable & Wireless Lions South Public Speaking winner. {{more}}

Marshall, from the Girls’ High School, dominated all three categories: prepared, student prepared and impromptu. Hence the announcement was no surprise to anyone in the audience.

She was sufficiently capable on the topic “We are all responsible for the high degree of violence in the society,’ and, in her prepared speech, showed concern for the preservation of the environment with her presentation on ‘Sand mining.’

The impromptu section invariably leaves even the most articulate student lost for words, if not ideas. But the way Marshall dealt with the relatively trivial issue of ‘Comess’ left no one in doubt as to her eventual triumph.

The competition was staged at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall, with the proceedings beamed live on local television. A packed auditorium also serves as a potentially intimidating backdrop.

The situation did not overawe Marshall by any stretch of the imagination, and she used her oratorical prowess to maximum effect.

The daughter of Haydn and Jennifer Marshall, the young Jo Anne has been something of prodigy since her tender years.

She has distinguished herself in many literary, mental or public functions over her career. Since at primary school, Jo Anne has been a top student.

She enjoys friendly rivalry from a younger sibling who has also etched his way in the realms of wonder. Such is the pedigree from which her name comes. Her grandparents Caspar and Maria Marshall have been beacons in the field of education, notably in the South Leeward district. That venerated couple has spawned a generation of scholars and Jo Anne is ensuring that legacy.

She beat Teroy Paul from Emmanuel High School Mesopotamia into second place.

Trudy Kydd from the Georgetown Secondary and Shenille King of the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown shared the third spot.

The other finalists were Troy Eustace, of the St. Vincent Grammar School, and Simone Augustus from the Mountain View Adventist Academy.

This public speaking event has become a major item on the Independence celebration programme organized by the Lions Club South and sponsored by Cable & Wireless. It has been boosted for the last three years by former West Indies speedster Courtney Walsh who is on contract to Cable & Wireless.

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