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Pratt County Soil Conservation Speech Contest

PHS Winners in Local Speech Contest


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The Kansas Association of Conservation Districts recently held its local Pratt County speech contest, otherwise known as the Soil Conservation Speech Contest, and three Pratt High School students won scholarships there. On Tuesday, Oct. 24th at Pratt Community College,  junior Alesha Bergner won 1st place and a $300 scholarship, followed by senior Kevin Johnson with 2nd place and a $200 scholarship and freshman Ruby Howell with 3rd place and a $100 scholarship.


Run locally by Sheryl Stevenson, who works for the Pratt County conservation district, the contest focused on the 2017 state theme of “We All Need Trees.” Bergner in turn zeroed in on the topic of uncontrolled tree growth in fields and pastures, such as cedars which contribute to groundwater depletion and fire hazards.


The Pratt High junior will now continue on to the area contest to be held November 3rd at PCC. If she wins there, she will move on to the state competition. Last year as a sophomore, she won 2nd at the state contest.


In addition to these competitors, the Pre-AP English class held a contest earlier, where students voted for the top three speakers in their class. Because of this, ninth graders Sian Helfrich, Kylee Hopkins, and Ruby Howell advanced to the county competition.


County and district coordinator, Stevenson, noted that all of the students met the purposes of the speech contest, which are to give students exposure to conservation topics, and to prepare and present speeches. With her 13 years of managing the competition, she also has been pleased with the confidence the contest gives to students as they practice, prepare, and perform. She remarked that Pratt High students show they’re serious about the competition with their professional clothing, their knowledge of the subject, and the strong preparation they bring into the event.


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