OPRFHS senior wins annual MLK oratorical contest for second time

January 15, 2013

At this Friday’s 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Assembly, OPRFHS students will have a chance to hear senior Anthony Moaton deliver the winning entry in the 27th annual student oratorical contest for the second year in a row. Anthony’s piece centers on the contest theme, “Moving Forward,” and details (sometimes humorously) the lessons he’s learned about how to move forward in life. The assembly actually is held twice, during back-to-back periods at 8:45 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. on Friday, January 18.

Also for the second year in a row, the high school and The Oak Park Regional Housing Center are partnering to sponsor the contest as a way of highlighting the community’s history and role in promoting diversity. The Housing Center is sponsoring the annual prizes: $200 for first place and $100 for second place, awarded to junior Helen Thomason. Her entry recounts some of the struggles Dr. King faced and relates them to struggles faced by young people in the Chicago area. In addition, senior Amber Floyd has won Prom tickets for her winning entry in the video contest, which will be shown at Friday’s assembly.

The presentation of the winning essay is always a highlight of the annual assembly, which asks students and staff to reflect on Dr. King’s life, teachings, and legacy. This year’s assembly also will feature the premiere of a music video by senior Hannah Rand. Creation of the video was prompted by the positive reactions to an original song Hannah sang at last year’s assembly, entitled “Not That Different.” The video was created by OPRFHS students, with the guidance of film and television teacher John Condne, using funds raised through Kickstarter and teacher contributions. The assembly also will feature performances by A Cappella Choir and Spoken Word.

Many thanks to the 2013 convocation committee; Spoken Word sponsors Jay Lind and David Gilmer and students Latroy Robinson, Joseph-Jordan Johnson, Chris Calhoun, and Haywood McDuffie III; A Capella Choir; and oratorical contest judges Cindy Milojevic, Latonia Brown, Jessica Stovall, Kyle Farley, Rob Breymaier, Morgan Davis, and Tina Lev