WESTFIELD, NJ -- New this school year, our middle school students in grades 5 through 8 have the opportunity to participate in a newly created Forensics club. Mrs. Caroline Ponterio and Ms. Karin Searson, fifth grade teachers, moderate the club. The students in the club participate in the Union County Catholic League of Forensics. Students who represented Holy Trinity School in the first round included; sixth grader, Caoimhe Gorham, seventh graders Giancarlo Guadagnino and Kate Robimon, and eighth graders Anna Maliakal, Alexandra Morales, and Annelyse Zaccaria.

The first competition of the school year was held on November 18. Due to the pandemic, the competition was held virtually. The category was Reading. Students had to read a selection that may be prose or poetry within a 2 to 5-minute period. Students are evaluated on general poise, diction, effectiveness of gestures, variety in attitude / approach and effectiveness of presentation.

Dressed in Sunday best, 27 students from five schools recorded a reading of their selection to be judged in two rounds prior to November 18. Six finalists were announced on November 18 and judges ranked their selection after one more viewing. We are pleased to announce that 6th grader, Caoimhe Gorham, received 2nd place overall with her selection from The Third Mushroom.

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“I am so proud of all of our students,” stated principal, Dr. Adele Ellis.

“Three of our students were able to participate in the competition as remote learners and our winner, Caoimhe, was actually in Ireland when it was announced that she had won,” Ellis added. "Holy Trinity School is open for in-person full time instruction with a remote option available for students who need to quarantine for various reasons."

Giancarlo Guadagnino enjoyed the experience. His selection was the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. When asked why he selected that piece, he stated: “I like this poem because I felt it relates to the times we are in now. It’s about being a good person and becoming a great man.”

“Public speaking is an invaluable skill students will need and use starting in middle school and beyond. Forensics is a great introduction,” adds Mrs. Ponterio. The students will participate in the next competition in February 2021.

Since 1916, Holy Trinity School (336 1st St, Westfield) has provided a quality Catholic education to Westfield and the surrounding communities. A 2011 National Blue Ribbon and a Middle States accredited school, its mission is to educate our students to actualize their full, individual potential both spiritually and academically, while adhering to the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. This will enable them to become responsible members of their families, high schools, churches, and communities in an ever-changing world.