All competition participants should receive a trophy



Maria Secoy’s 7th grade Language Arts students at Millboro Elementary School recently held debates in their class.  During the debate each team read an opening statement and then each student was given three minutes to present their arguments and then each team presented a closing statement.

One of the topics debated was all competition participants should receive a trophy.

Justin argued for the proposition side.

“I was arguing for everyone gets a trophy for participation,” says Justin.  “The main points were health, self-esteem and good sportsmanship.  I learned how to look up stuff better and how to speak in front of judges.”

How did you feel being up there?

“I felt good,” says Justin.  “I wasn’t that nervous.”

“My name is Nathan and I was in opposition.  The main points of our argument were the fact that trophies have lost their meaning over the years and they really don’t have any meaning anymore.  And they’re just a piece of plastic sitting around nowadays.  It was hectic over the past couple of months, but it was also a very fun learning experience to do with my classmates.”

“My name is Gabriele and I was arguing for not giving all participants trophies.  The main points is that a lack of progress, loses it’s meaning and it costs money.”

And what did you learn through this whole project?

“I learned how to evaluate the sources we could find and how to work together with our team,” says Gabriele.  “I was nervous at first, but once we started talking it was easier because I knew everyone that had supported me through it all.”

“I am Katherine.  I was on the proposition team for should kids earn a participation trophy.”

How did you feel being up there this morning?

“Well I was worried I might do something weird like cough or sneeze in the middle of my speech and I was worried I would run out of time, but I didn’t have stage fright or anything,” says Katherine.

This was the second year that teacher Maria Secoy held the debates in her class.

“Long term, I mean we always say ‘Why do we need these SOL’s?  Why do we need to do this?’,” says Secoy.  “The big picture, this is what I see happen every month at the county board of supervisors meeting, this is what I see happen every month at the school board meeting.  This is how adults form our society is by having these debates.   It was great for them to do it.  And I’m very proud of them.  I think they did an awesome job.”

Judges for the debates were School Superintendent Sue Hirsh, Millboro Elementary Principal Allison Hicklin and Millboro Elementary Guidance Counselor Jessica Hornsby.  And in a close contest, they awarded the opposition the win in the debate on trophies.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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