GCMS Forensic Team Takes Home the Gold, Silver and Bronze

April 4, 2014 at 10:45 PM

WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Speaking in public can be difficult even for adults, so when students learn to speak in front of large crowds as teenagers, it is quite an accomplishment. On Monday, March 17, nine students from Grover Cleveland Middle School, Caldwell, showed that speaking in front of crowds is not so difficult for them, when the sixth and seventh grade students traveled up the road to Caldwell College, Caldwell, to participate in the Essex County Oratorical Declamation Tournament sponsored by the Essex County Steering Committee for Gifted and Talented Education. The Caldwell students returned with trophies for the top four spots in the varsity competition, and top two in the junior varsity competition.

Oratorical Declamation students select and memorize a speech that has been delivered before a live audience and prepare it for presentation at a local tournament. Special attention is given to effective communication of the author’s mood and meaning; use of vocal variety and pace to define character; appropriate use of facial expressions; appropriate and timely gestures. Total effect of the speech should be predominantly established through appropriate vocal and facial expression as well as eye contact.

Representing GCMS were varsity competitors seventh graders Julia Tuck, Charlee Alberta, Jessica Rizzo, Natasha LaChac, and DeeAnna Meluso; and junior varsity competitors sixth graders Connor Padover, Sam Mulick, Chloe Cordasco and Stephanie Eckhardt.

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The Caldwell middle school swept the competition, earning the top four varsity spots and top two junior varsity spots. Tuck earned first place in the varsity competition, with Alberta taking second, Rizzo taking third, and LaChac and Meluso tying for fourth.  At the junior varsity level, Padover took first and Mulick took second place. 

For more information on Grover Cleveland Middle School, visit

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