Results from the Third Austin Regional Japanese Language Speech Contest 2011

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The Japan-America Society of Greater Austin hosted and sponsored the third Austin Regional Japanese Speech Contest on February 19, 2011, in collaboration with the Annual Texas State Japanese Speech Contest in Houston, the statewide competition held on March 5 for students and adults at all levels in Japanese language and culture.

The speech contest will offer participants an opportunity to demonstrate their oral communication skills in Japanese while competing in a statewide competition and the winners of level IV (First and Second place) will compete at the National Japanese Speech Contest in Los Angeles. The contest will also promote students' awareness and understanding in culture, language and people of Japan.

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A total of thirty-three contestants presented poetry recitations and insightful, creative speeches in Austin. Listed below are the names of the top three winners in each of Divisions I through V.

Division I: Poetry Recitation - All middle and high school students at novice level
Middle school:
1st:Joann Min, Kealing  MS
2nd:Isaac Metcalf, Kealing  MS
3rd:Wilson Mguyen, Kealing  MS
High School:
1st:Cassandra Norwood, LASA
2nd:Shannon Plunkett, LASA
3rd:Monica Skinner, McCallum HS

TX state contestants:
1st: Cassandra Morwood, LASA
2nd: Joann Min, Kealing  MS

Division II: Poetry Recitation - High school students at Intermediate level
1. Jiwoon Park,  LASA  
2. Elizabeth Buehler, Austin HS
3. Fernanda Argudo, LASA

TX state contestants:
1. Jiwoon Park,  LASA  
2. Fernanda Argudo, LASA

Division III: Free Speech - Middle and high school students at Intermediate level and TX State contestants:
1. Christian Testa, LASA
2. Ana DeSantiago, LASA
3. Sinead Carolan, LASA

Division IV: Free Speech - High school students at intermediate level and/or above and the 1st and 2nd place winners entered in the TX State contest.
1. Asia Lu,  LASA   
2. Nora Greene,  McCallum HS   
3. Nathan Bendich, LASA

Division V: Free Speech - College/University students and Adults and the 1st and 2nd place winners entered in the TX State contest.
1. Namsu Kim, The University of Texas at Austin   
2. Qianning Lei, The University of Texas at Austin  
3.  Shannon Spears, Southwestern University

All contestants received the Japanese Certificate (Shojou) for participation in the speech contest. The top three winners received the Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) Trophy.

JASGA would like to thank each of the contestants for their participation.
During the intermission and while the judges discussed the selection of winners, there was a cello performance  played by:   Eve Galbraith, 9th grade at Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School (LASA).

We'd like to express our appreciation to the following five Judges for the competition:
     Dr. Aida, Yukie The Univ of Texas at Ausitn 
     Ms. Fujii, Yoshiko  Baylor University
     Ms. Kitta, Kaori  JASGA Language Program/Austin Hoshuko
     Mr. Nishida, Toshio  AISD (McCallum HS, Kealing MS)
     Dr. Oh, Theresa  Austin Community College
     Ms. Emi Schuser ACC and AISD (Fullmore MS) - alternative to Mr. Nishida

We'd also like to express our appreciation to our Award Presenters:
     Ms. Tina Dong Instructional Coordinator, World Languages/Journalism, AISD, Dept of Curriculum Special Programs     
     Dr. Takeshi Udagawa,  Sr Advisor, JASGA & Professor Emeritus at University of Texas at Austin
We were delighted that all of you could share your time with us and thank you so much for your warm encouragement of the contestants.
This Japanese speech contest was made possible with the support of Austin Independent School District (AISD), Asahi Imports, in partnership with the Consulate-General of Japan at Houston, the Japan-America Societies of Texas, and Japanese Teachers Association of Texas (JTAT).