Posted by Janelle Kavenaugh on May 29, 2018
“I’m glad I was not a judge!”
“These are some of the best Four-Way Test Speech Contest talks we have ever heard.”
“These kids are really bright and know how to research for their talks.”
These are but a few of the comments heard about the speakers at the District Four-Way Test Speech Contest held on Saturday, May 19, at the District Celebration.  There were seven contestants, all in high school inRotary District 5790
This is a great opportunity for high school students to speak before a group of professional people and to learn more about Rotary.  The talks ranged from teen suicide to emotional IQ to the injustice of our justice system.  Facts were all researched and documented to support their premise.  And not one used any notes!
Forty Clubs held contests this year, usually with 4 or 5 participants from local schools or home school groups.  The winner of each Club contest advances to one of three Regional contests.  The winners of each Regional contest are awarded $100 each and advance to the District contest.
The hall was packed with Rotarians, student coaches, parents, grandparents, and other well-wishers.
Of the 40 participating Clubs, the 2017-18 winners are:
                First Place – Natalie Pixler, Mansfield Sunrise Rotary Club who won $1,200
                Second Place - Gracie Walker, Cleburne Rotary Club who won $900
                Third Place - Sammy Guadarrama, Abilene Rotary Club who won $750
                Fourth Place – Jonathan Forseth, Eagle Mountain/Saginaw Rotary Club who won $600
                Fifth Place – Colin Williams, Mid-Cities Rotary Club who won $450
                Sixth Place - Aaron Szczesny, Denton Noon Rotary Club who won $300
                Seventh Place - Brannon Heltzel, Weatherford Rotary Club who won $200
Judges who came from across the district were:
  • Paul Brodie, Arlington Sunrise Rotary Club 
  • Bryan Acosta, Arlington Sunrise Rotary Club
  • Chuck Chambers, Arlington North Rotary Club
  • Lashondra Strother, Arlington North Rotary Club
  • Sophie Clement, Fort Worth International Rotary Club
  • Stephen West, Fort Worth East Rotary Club
  • John Pardue, Fort Worth South Rotary Club. 
Rotarians from the HEB Rotary Club, PDG Paul Lucas and Frank Allen, served as tabulators.  PDG Tom Sheriff from Wichita Falls North was timekeeper, and DGNE Peter Scott from Arlington read a short history of the Four-Way Test for those attendees who were unfamiliar with it.
This is an activity that every Club can benefit from.  Students can benefit from the experience alone as well as the monetary award to be gained.  Rotary Clubs benefit by letting students, educators, parents and others learn about Rotary.
If anyone is interested in more information, please contact 2017-18 District Chair Janelle Kavanaugh at or 2018-19 District Chair Paul Brodie at