Students head to Ottawa for French public-speaking finals

Two York Region District School Board (YRDSB) students each landed a $4,000 university scholarship and will head to the nation’s capital to compete in French public-speaking finals next month.

Grade 11 student Nicole Haim of Vaughan Secondary School in Thornhill won first place in the francophone category at the 35th provincial French public-speaking event, Concours et festival d’art oratoire, while Grade 12 student Parsa Entesari of Langstaff S.S. in Richmond Hill earned top honours in the immersion category.

They will represent YRDSB at the finals on June 1 and were among seven YRDSB who won awards at the competition, held May 4 at York University’s Glendon Campus in Toronto. The competition drew more than 300 students from 24 school boards and 11 independent schools from across Ontario.

“We are very proud of our students’ performance in the contest,” says Heather Sears, Superintendent of Education, Curriculum and Instructional Services. “They were able to demonstrate some of their learning in French and showcase the diversity of French programming at YRDSB.”

Grade 10 student Galiva Vendro of Newmarket High School won first place in the extended category, while Grade 11 student Ronan Gandhi of Bill Hogarth S.S. in Markham earned second place in the immersion category. Third place winners were Grade 9 student Max Haim of Vaughan S.S. in the francophone category, Grade 10 student Subeka Manokanthan of Pierre Elliott Trudeau S.S. in Markham in the core category and Grade 10 student Ben Fillery of Newmarket H.S. in the core category.

Students in Grades 9 to 12 participated in the competition for cash prizes and partial scholarships to York University’s Glendon Campus and the University of Ottawa, while students in Grades 4 to 8 participated in a non-competitive event. They presented an original speech or a spontaneous presentation before a panel of officials recruited by the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association.

Photo: The provincial French public-speaking competition is hosted annually by the Ontario branch of Canadian Parents for French. Photo courtesy of the York Region District School Board.

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