-- The Traverse City Optimist Club recently hosted its annual oratorical contest. The winners go on to compete in the Regional Contest. Each student was given four minutes to speak on the topic, “Why My Voice Is Important.” All five received a certificate from the Optimist Club for participating in the Optimist Oratorical program, begun in 1928, which emphasizes public speaking.
Judging were Carol Taberski, Registrar at North Western Michigan College, Scott Blair, manager of the Wasterwater Treatment Plant, and Jim McGee, owner of The Place, Inc.
-- The Northwestern Michigan College Children’s Choir’s top group, Cantus, recently took a performance tour to New York City, which culminated in earning the Grand Champion honor at a festival competition at the College of Staten Island. Cantus was awarded a gold medal for their performance at the festival, as well as earning the competition’s top award for choirs. Cantus is made up of fifth through ninth grade students.
-- Northern Michigan area students Laurie Asava and Heather Waldron were among 10 recent college graduates featured at the 18th Governor’s Education Summit in East Lansing. The Governor’s Education Summit brings together hundreds of education, business and workforce professionals from across Michigan for a day of presentations, featured speakers and opportunities for collaboration. Asava, a Traverse City native, is a recent graduate of Michigan State University and chose to stay here in Michigan instead of seeking employment out-of-state. Waldron is a native of Petoskey and a recent Albion College graduate.
The theme of this year’s Summit, “Collaborate. Create. Connect,” continued the conversation from the Governor’s Economic Summit held in Detroit in March to discuss talent needs in Michigan.
-- The Traverse City West Senior High School Choral-Aires were selected as the top Youth Arts Festival ensemble choice at State Solo and Ensemble Festival on April 13. They also received the most awards at the festival. TC West Senior High School Senior Joseph Kiessling was also selected as a Youth Arts soloist.
-- Four members of Boy Scout Troop 28 received their Eagle Scout awards during a Court of Honor ceremony May 19. Receiving the award, Scouting’s highest rank, were Jonathan Courtade, Dylan Flesher, Jonathan Friar and Kyle Ludwig.
Courtade’s Eagle community service project was clearing a hiking trail in the Battle Creek Natural Area in Whitewater Township. He is graduating from Elk Rapids High School and will enroll at Grand Valley State University this fall. Flesher’s service project was planning and directing the planting of 125 cedar trees along a tributary of Mitchell Creek to prevent growth of invasive weeds. He graduated from Traverse City Central High School and is a student at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. For his project, Friar removed and transported heavy concrete blocks from an unstable patio at The Cottages on the former state hospital grounds. He is graduating from Traverse City West Senior High School and will enroll at Hope College this fall. Ludwig’s project was replacing trees, flowers and other landscaping plants at Christ the King Catholic Church’s rectory, also known as the Historic Hoxsie House, in Acme. He is graduating from Traverse City Central High School and enrolling in Northwestern Michigan College’s engineering program this fall.
Troop 28 is sponsored by the Presbyterian Church of Traverse City. The Scoutmaster is Mark Baranski.