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Beyene Takes Third Place in Black History Oratory Contest

Karin Jones, Staff

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Junior Peniel Beyene placed third in WJZ TV’s annual Black History Oratory competition.  The finals were held on February 26, 2017 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore City.

The WJZ Black History Oratory competition began January 1, 2017. All English high school students in Maryland were given three different quotes from Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, and Dr. Carla Hayden to express what it meant to them in an essay.

CHS had eight AP English junior students qualify for the semifinals out of 20 total finalists. The eight finalists from CHS were Timmy Huyhn, Thi Aye, Shara Miller, Aubrey Zepp, Luke Jackson, Peniel Beyene, Ella Johnson, and Alice Russell.

The majority of the semifinalists that were prepared to compete had to memorize their essays to be able to qualify for the grand prize of $2,300.

Junior Peniel Beyene states she “took psychology at CCBC” during the time of the competition. She learned that within the class that she was an auditory learner, and she recorded herself reading her essay. Gradually, Peniel was able to easily memorize her essay. She believes she would not have been as successful “without having faith and words of encouragement from her family and friends” to help her get through it.

Students were told by junior AP English teacher Rachael Wilkinson that this contest would count as a weekly paragraph that the students do for homework every week, and that they would be graded after they submitted it into the WJZ contest. The weekly paragraph is preparation for the AP writing part of the English exam.

Junior Ella Johnson states, she used “a paragraph helper” given by Rachael Wilkinson to guide her in crafting her essay.

The juniors spent two class days to begin brainstorming and creating their essay in their AP English class.

Junior Thi Aye states she spent “two to three days” on her essay outside of class. Then, she spent thirty minutes each night for three weeks to memorize her essay.

Junior AP English teacher, Rachael Wilkinson believes “It went well. All the students that went really enjoyed it.”

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Beyene Takes Third Place in Black History Oratory Contest