Iris Robare, a 12 th grade student at Gladstone High School, has been selected as the First Place Winner in the second annual SPEECH TREK: The M. Jean Jokipii Memorial Speech Contest, a statewide speech contest sponsored by the American Association of University Women of Michigan (AAUW of MI) and hosted by the AAUW Escanaba Area Branch at the Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School System. The theme was “How to be a Change Maker Against Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Violence.” Iris is the daughter of Laura and Craig Karttunen of Gladstone. Her teacher/speech advisor is Ms. Nicky Wangrud. Her principal is Mr. Brady Downey and superintendent is Dr. Jay Kulbertis. Locally, the contest was open to all area high school students in the two-county area. Iris was awarded a $300 cash prize and a Certificate of Achievement. The DVD/MP4 of her winning speech was entered into the state competition where she was awarded 2nd Place!
Three state semi-finalists will be selected from branch winners by a panel of judges. The state winner will be selected from among the three semi-finalists. The state speech winner will be invited to attend and deliver his/her speech at the 93 rd Annual AAUW of MI State Convention/Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, MI. This is the first time the State Convention will be held in the Upper Peninsula. The winner and a parent or chaperone will be invited to the State Convention and Annual Meeting. Gas mileage, lodging and lunch will be paid for by AAUW of MI, not to exceed the budgeted amount. Information about the Convention and AAUW of Michigan is posted at: www.aauwmi.org
The Second Place Winner was Brianna Allen , a 12 th grade student at the Escanaba High School . She is the daughter of Victoria Vlies of Escanaba and Robert Allen of Rudyard. Her teacher/speech advisor is Ms. Tammy Wiles. Her principal is Mr. Doug Leisenring and superintendent is Ms. Michele LeMIre. Brianna won a cash prize of $200 and a Certificate of Achievement.
The Third Place Winner was Christina Hanson, a 12 th grade student at the Mid-Peninsula High School. She is the daughter of Scott Hanson of Cornell. Her principal is Mr. Eric VanDamme and superintendent is Ms. Mary Brayak. Her teacher/speech advisor is Ms. Kaitlyn Johnson. Christina won a cash prize of $100 and a Certificate of Achievement.
The Speech Contest was held at the Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District. Lunch was catered by the Applewood Eatery and Espresso Bar of Escanaba. AAUW members and community volunteers assisted with this educational event. Christine Ryan and Susan Hampton, AAUW members, served as co-chairs and emcees.
The Speech Contest is named in memory of Ms. M. Jean Jokipii , an educational, community, and state leader. Jean was an esteemed speech and language arts teacher who retired from the Escanaba Area Public Schools; was the founding President of the AAUW Escanaba Area Branch; a former President of AAUW of Michigan and Escanaba’s first female mayor. First and foremost, Jean was always a teacher, a mentor and a strong advocate for students, life-long learning, and community service.