Audrey Dahlgren introduced Peninsula HS Counselor Teri Koyanagi and the 4 speech contestants (L-R): Candace Johnson (PVHS), Natalie Edelstein (PenHS), Liliana Pond (PenHS), and William Whittenbury (PenHS).
Natalie Edelstein gave a spirited and humorous speech on Narcissism in the Millennial Generation.  She placed these attitudes in perspective to show that “we are not the center of the universe!”
Liliana Pond spoke on the challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease and the loss of memories of the past that deprive the rest of us of a sense of society’s continuity over time.  She used as an example the recent loss of her beloved grandmother after years of Alzheimer’s.
William Whittenbury spoke on the endangered vaquitas (“little cows” in Spanish), the world’s smallest dolphins who live in the Gulf of California.  There are only about 100 left, and they could be gone by 2017.  They spend most of their time deep underwater and therefore are seldom seen by fishermen.  This is a heavy fishing area that the local population depends on.  A new SafeNet has been developed that can save these vaquitas from being unintentionally killed during fishing operations, and is more efficient in excluding unwanted catch that would be discarded.
Candace Johnson gave an excellent description of how the Rotary 4-Way Test can help us to make the right decisions as a moral compass for our values.  She discussed how Jesus presented these same principles in his teachings on how to apply them to our daily lives.  Acts of kindness are contagious.
After carefully evaluating each of these talented contestants, the judging committee chose William Whittenbury as the winner to compete in our District Speech Contest (March 1 at LMU); he was awarded $100.  The runner-up was Liliana Pond, who was awarded $50.  We thank each of these 4 outstanding students for their efforts, and are happy that we do not need to compete against them!