HISD students compete in annual MLK Oratory finals to honor Dr. King’s legacy

HISD  fourth-grader Ronnie Williams of Law Elementary School won the Foley & Lardner LLP 26th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratory Competition.

The competition invites local students to present original 3-to-5 minute speeches addressing the topic “How would Dr. King assess our progress in achieving his vision for America?”

Criteria for judging included delivery, stage presence, decorum, content interpretation, and memorization.

Williams, 10, finished first among 12 finalists.

“We are not where we ought to be but thank God we are not where we used to be,” Williams imagined the Nobel Peace Prize-winning civil rights leader saying if he were alive today.

Crespo Elementary fourth-grader Xedrick Jabier placed second, following his older brother Nedrick who won the competition in 2017.

Fourth-grader Marquise Ambers of Cornelius Elementary School placed third.

“This annual event receives national attention because it allows the public to see the dynamic skills of HISD students and their dedicated teachers,” said Superintendent Millard House II. “I congratulate every student who took part in this competition, and the teachers who worked tirelessly in preparation for today’s competition.”

The remaining finalists, listed below, received a monetary award, participation plaque, and other gifts. 

  • Cornellius White, 5th Grade, Blackshear Elementary
  • Nayeli Hernandez, 5th Grade, Kate Bell Elementary
  • Kyron Lyons, 5th Grade, Lockhart Elementary
  • Annalise Templeton, 4th Grade, Pleasantville Elementary
  • Mia Neary, 5th Grade, Sutton Elementary
  • Jazelle Wilson, 5th Grade, Thompson Elementary
  • Chalice Jerome, 5th Grade, Valley West Elementary
  • Jada Lee, 5th Grade, Windsor Village Elementary
  • Diana Moreno, 5th Grade, Young Elementary