Harwood Elementary’s Juilette Pyefinch won provincial gold at the Concours d’art oratoire (Photo - Contributed)

Harwood Elementary’s Juilette Pyefinch won provincial gold at the Concours d’art oratoire (Photo - Contributed)

Vernon French Immersion students bring home provincial awards

Each student had to present a short speech on a topic of their choosing

A couple of Vernon French Immersion students are bringing home gold and silver after stunning the judges with their french speaking.

The Concours d’art oratoire is a pan-Canadian French public speaking competition. An estimated 85,000 students participate annually across Canada, including 80 from across B.C. and the Yukon at the provincial level. This year’s competition was virtual and was judged by post-secondary school professors as well as French Immersion graduates.

Juliette Pyefinch, a grade seven student from Harwood Elementary, took home the top provincial prize, winning the gold medal for her speech.

W.L. Seaton Secondary student Ava Marginson, and Beairsto Elementary’s Juliette Rowe (grade six), both won silver medals for their age group in the Francophone division at the provincials.

“As a past district-level judge, I know that a lot of time and effort are put into the speeches,” said Dr. Kim Williams, Canadian Parents for French Vernon President. “The students should be incredibly proud to make it to the provincial finals. To have three winners from Vernon shows the quality of French learning in our district, it is a real community achievement. I congratulate everyone who participated; they are all winners.”

Grace Tessaro (Harwood), Maddie Waldegger, and Henning Kargut (Beairsto) all placed first in districts and had good showing at the provincials.

“By participating in Concours, our students develop confidence and improve their French while honing skills in time management, listening and critical thinking. Ultimately, they become more effective as communicators, capable of inspiring others,” said Nancy Taylor, President of Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon. “We are so proud of all our Concours participants. Bravo à vous tous et toutes pour votre belle participation!”

All the students had to choose a topic and develop a three-to-five minute speech to present.

On top of their medals, the provinical winners received cash, Cineplex gift cards and a phone wallet. The district winners won gift cards to Coles bookstore.

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