Speech & Essay Contests

Congratulations to our students who shine in local and regional oratorical and essay contests, and a special thank you to Mrs. Wentzel who encourages and mentors these students. This year, O'Connell students have won nearly $20,000 in scholarships and prizes in these contests, and five are moving on to the national competition in their category.

*Indicates advancing to national level.

2017-2018

SAR Award 2018

SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (SAR) ORATORICAL CONTEST
George Washington Chapter
Lora Ivy - 1st Place Local ($100), 1st Place State ($1,000)

George Mason Chapter
Seth Viani - 1st Place Local ($100), Honorable Mention State ($150)
Anja Kline - 2nd Place Local ($50)
Victoria Revolla - 3rd Place Locacl ($25)

Colonel Grayson Chapter
*Gabriella Luchetti - 1st Place Local ($100), 3rd Place State ($300 and all-expense paid trip for her and a parent to national competition.

Fairfax Resolves Chapter
Emily Fisk - 1st Place Local ($150), 2nd Place State ($500)
Sara Lynn Desarzens - 2nd Place Local ($100)
Aarifah Ullah - 3rd Place Local ($50)
Andrew Pagan - Honorable Mention Local ($25)

SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION ESSAY CONTEST
George Mason Chapter
*Ryan Bhojwani - 1st Place Local ($100), 1st Place State ($1,000)

Fairfax Resolves Chapter
Seylon Edmundson - 1st Place Local ($150)

Culpepper Minute Men Chapter
Julia Gibson - 1st Place Local ($200)


Colonel C.A. Seone Essay Contest
Three winners of $500 each
Kiaris Alavris-Roja
Samuel Donovan
Leah Kareem


Optimist Winners

Optimist Essay Contest - Arlington Club
Kyleigh Friel - 1st Place ($1,000)
Kiaris Alvarado Roja - 2nd Place $500
Malia Stephens - 3rd Place ($400)

Optimist Oratorical Contest - Arlington Club
Aidan McGowan - 3rd Place ($500)

Optimist Essay Scholarship for an Arlington Student
Christopher Whelan ($5,000)


VOD Awards 2018

Voice of Democracy Oral Essay Contest - VFW Post 3150
Victoria Revollo - 2nd Place Local ($150), 1st Place District ($400)
Lora Ivy - 3rd Place ($75)
Natalie Lychak - Honorable Mention ($25)


Rotary International Oratorical Contest
Rosalind Coolidge - 2nd Place Local ($100)

Rotary Music Competition
Patrick Roney - 2nd Place Local ($100)
Rosalind Coolidge - 3rd Place Local ($75)


Virginia Right to Life Oration Contest
Knights of Columbus Father Diamond Council (Fairfax)
Roisin Bergeron - 1st Place ($150) - tie
Malia Stephens - 1st Place ($150) - tie
Caroline Coon - Runner-Up ($50)
William Scherr - Runner-Up ($50)


DAR Award 2018

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
Good Citizenship Award

Rosalind Coolidge - $100


Catholic Daughters Awards

CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS OF AMERICA
Essay Contest
*Anna Goodson - 1st Place Local, 1st Place State

Poetry Contest
*Cecilia Juarez - 1st Place Local, 1st Place State

Art Contest
*Ava Drury - 1st Place Local, 1st Place State


YOUTH APOSTLES INSTITUTE
22nd Annual Prolife Essay Contest

Jonathan Tuason - 2nd Place ($75)
Thomas Nguyen - 3rd Place ($50)
Evan Sarchio - Honorable Mention


WEST POINT SOCIETY - WASHINGTON DC
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Jack Gradle - West Point Society

West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference (WPLEC) Scholarship Essay Contest
Jack Gradle - Winner ($3,000)

WP LEADS 2018

West Point Leadership, Ethics and Diversity in STEM (LEADS) Honorable Living Essay Contest
Jackson Burnside - 1st Place ($500)


Next Gen Personal Finance Payback Challenge Essay Contest
Andrew Oliveros - Honorable Mention


2018 SUMMER PROGRAM APPOINTMENTS

Boys State (American Legion Post 85)
Glenn Broderick ($450)
Patrick Roney ($450)
Patrick Schauf ($450)

Girls State (American Legion Post 194)
Isabella Stark ($400)

Virginia Youth Law Cadet Sponsorships

American Legion Post 44
Claudia LeBeouf ($225)

American Legion Post 85
Chloe DuBois ($225)

American Legion Post 123
Andrea Fronjosa Briceno ($225)

Rotary Youth Leadership Training Camp
Erin Horrigan ($275)

2016-2017


SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Oratorical Contest – George Washington Chapter
*
Kelly Shepperson (pictured above) – 1st Place Local ($100), 1st Place State ($1,000), Attending National Competition in July (awarded an all-expense paid trip for her and a parent to compete in Knoxville, TN)
Kayla Turner – 2nd Place Local ($50)
Andrew Turner – 3rd Place Local ($25)

Oratorical Contest - Colonel Grayson Chapter
Elizabeth Cooke - 1st Place Local ($100), 3rd Place State ($300)


Oratorical Contest – Fairfax Resolves Chapter
Anna Biernacki – 1st Place Local ($150 + $100 expenses)
Virginia Brough – 2nd Place Local ($100)

Essay Contest – George Mason Chapter
Philip Klote – 1st Place Local

Essay Contest – Colonel Grayson Chapter
Bradley Magee – 1st Place Local ($100)

Essay Contest – District of Columbia SAR
*Gabriella Grimaldi – 1st Place State ($1,000), *Moving on to National competition in July.


CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS OF AMERICAS
Court Queen of Peace

Essay Contest
*Natalie Lychak - 1st Place Court, 1st Place State, Moving on to National competition.

Poetry Contest
*Aidan Dolley - 1st Place Court, 1st Place State, Moving on to National competition.

Art Contest
*Georgia Katsapis - 1st Place Court, 1st Place State, Moving on to National competition.
Elias Landeros - 2nd Place Court


VFW - Voice of Democracy Oral Essay Contest

Post 3150
Maeve March – 1st Place Local ($300)
Elizabeth Cooke – 2nd Place Local ($150)
Alexis Ferguson – 3rd Place Local ($75)
Delaney Greczyn – Honorable Mention ($25)
Mary Salinas – Honorable Mention ($25)


Post 609
Jesse Amoss – 2nd Place ($150)



DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (DAR)
Good Citizenship Award
Sarah Lawler ($100)



COLONEL SEOANE ESSAY CONTEST
John DeCello ($500)
Katherine Gardenier ($500)
Malia Stephens ($500)



ROTARY INTERNATIONAL - FALL CHURCH
Oratorical Contest

Susana Juarez - 1st Place Local ($150), 1st Place Area, Advanced to District
Caitlin Thompson – 2nd Place Local ($100)

Youth Leadership Award
Kirsten Knauf ($275)

Music Competition
Jesse Amoss - 1st Place ($100)
Ava Coffin - 3rd Place ($50)

Falls Church Rotary Essay Scholarship Winner
Susie Juarez-Rodriguez ($1,000)


OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL - Arlington Club
Essay Contest
Malia Stephens – 1st Place Local ($500), Advanced to State

Oratorical Contest
Keith Evans - 1st Place ($1,000)
Aidan McGowan 3rd Place ($500)

Jones photo

Arlington Optimists Essay Scholarship Contest Winner
Caroline Jones ($8,000)


AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY - Post 194
Essay Contest

Kiaris Alvarado - 1st Place/Class IV ($25), Advanced to State
Malia Stephens - 1st Place/Class V ($25), Advanced to State


KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS/VIRGINIA RIGHT TO LIFE ORATION
Father Diamond Council
Besa Bucaj - 1st Place ($150), 3rd Place State ($100)
Michael Hails - 1st Place ($150)
Diego Solanas - Runner Up ($50)
Kayla Turner - Runner Up ($50)

VIRGINIA SOCIETY FOR HUMAN LIFE ESSAY CONTEST
Malia Stephens – 3rd Place Local ($250)

2015-2016

Alexandra Rodriguez (above) wins 2nd place at the national Sons of the American Revolution speech contest (July 2016)
Read more...

SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Oratorical Contest – George Washington Chapter
*
Alexandra Rodriguez (pictured above) – 1st Place Local, 1st Place State ($1,000), 2nd Place Nationals ($3,000), Also awarded an all-expense paid trip for her and a parent to compete in Boston.

Oratorical Contest - George Mason Chapter
Frank Lucchetti - 1st Place Local ($100), Advanced to State

Oratorical Contest – Fairfax Resolves Chapter
Marissa Luna - 2nd Place Local ($50)

Good Citizenship Bronze Medal Winner
Ellen Ward


OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL
Oratorical Contest - Alexandria Sunrise Chapter
Boys
Aidan McGowan - 1st Place ($100), 2nd Place in Region
Ian Alvano - 2nd Place ($75)

Girls
Kathryn Baker - 1st Place ($100)
Erin Horrigan - 2nd Place ($75), 2nd Place in Region
Margaret McDonald - 3rd Place ($50)

Essay Contest - Alexandria Sunrise Chapter
Emily Major - 1st Place ($200)
Mary Salinas - 3rd Place ($75)


Good Government Award - Alexandria Sunrise Chapter
Andrew Janis (pictured above)

Essay Contest - Arlington Chapter
Olivia Eichner - 1st Place ($500)
Grace DiLuigi - 2nd Place ($300)
Claire Stemberger - 3rd Place ($200)

Oratorical Contest - Arlington Chapter
Patrick Roney - 1st Place ($750), 1st Place Region, 2nd Place District

OPTIMIST ESSAY SCHOLARSHIP FOR AN ARLINGTON STUDENT
Olivia Eichner - $8,000 College Scholarship



VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS (VFW)
Voice of Democracy Recorded Essay Contest
John Lyon Post #3150 in Arlington

Frank Lucchetti - 1st Place ($300)
Sean Bergman - 2nd Place ($150)
Tatum Andres - 3rd Place ($75)



AMERICAN LEGION WOMEN'S AUX. POST 194
Essay Contest
Paul Bean - 1st Place (Junior Level) ($25), Advanced to State

AMERICAN LEGION WOMEN'S AUX. POST 1976
Essay Contest
Michael Policarpio - (Junior Level) 1st Place Local ($25), 1st Place State ($50), 1st Place National ($50)
Colleen McGinn - (Senior Level) 1st Place Local ($25), Advanced to State



CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAS
Essay Contest
*Isabella Galdabini - 1st Place Local, 1st Place State, Advanced to Nationals

Poetry Contest
Kaylynn Boswell - 1st Place Local, 2nd Place State

Art Contest
*Mai Thy Nguyen - 1st Place Local,1st Place State, Advanced to Nationals


NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE
Oratorical Contest
Sean Coggin - Tied 1st Place Local ($150)
Dylan Seagrave - Tied 1st Place Local ($150)
Casey Shows - Runner-up
Sierra Moore - Runner-up


ROTARY INTERNATIONAL
Oratorical Contest
Aidan McGowan - 1st Place Local ($150), 1st Place Area, Advanced to District

Falls Church Rotary Essay Scholarship Winner
Virginia Schilder ($1,000)


YOUTH APOSTLES
Essay Contest
Thomas Dannenfelser - Honorable Mention
Kelly Shepperson - Honorable Mention