Students to compete in semifinal round of annual MLK Oratory Competition

Each year, students across the district show off their oratory skills in the annual Martin Luther King Oratory Competition.  

This year’s theme, “What would Dr. King’s vision be for America in 2020?” will be tackled by fourth- and fifth-graders from several HISD schools during the competition semifinals at 9 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 10 at Thompson Elementary School. 

Now in its 24th year in Houston, the MLK Oratory competition, sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, encourages elementary school students to spread the work and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through self-written speeches that envision King’s message in today’s world. Students are judged based on delivery, stage presence and decorum, content interpretation, and memorization. 

The 23 semifinalists who will be competing for the opportunity to present their speeches in the oratory finals on Friday, Jan. 17 at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ (500 Clay Street, 77002) and for the chance to win a $1,000 prize are:  

  • Ananya Cherkuri  (Askew ES)  
  • DeAndre Callier (Atherton ES) 
  • Jacora Dearman (Bastian ES) 
  • Ayomide Lawrence (Blackshear ES) 
  • Aniyah Williams (Burrus ES) 
  • David Ozuzu (Cornelius ES) 
  • Brandon Curbow (Crespo ES) 
  • Taylor Petteway (Foster ES) 
  •  Kailee Patterson (Gregory Lincoln) 
  • Kamryn Williams  (MacGregor ES) 
  • Kaydence Fletcher (Law ES) 
  • Jordyn Prince (Kate Bell ES)  
  • Kelia Smith (Kelso ES) 
  • Symphony Stroud (Lockhart ES) 
  • Mia Martinez (Park Place ES) 
  • Hanah Hamilton (Pleasantville ES)) 
  •  Jimmie Bigham (Reynolds ES) 
  • Jenny Teague (Sutton ES) 
  • Sean Gair (Thompson ES)  
  • Gabrielle Marshall (Valley West ES) 
  • Abrina Galvan (Wainwright ES) 
  • Kassandra Joseph (Whidby ES) 
  • Leo Serrano (Windsor Village ES)