News Release

And the Winners Are...

A student stands on a stage and gives a speech to a small audience
Students delivered excerpts from Frederick Douglass's speeches for two days at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

NPS / E. White

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News Release Date: December 27, 2017

Contact: Nate Johnson, 202-426-5961

WASHINGTON - The National Park Service is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Oratorical Contest at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. 

On December 8 and 9, more than sixty students in grades 1-12 participated in the contest. To prepare, each student selected an excerpt from a Douglass speech, memorized, and practiced it. They then presented the speech from a stage at the site. Each student received a certificate and a special Bicentennial edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

There are four separate award categories: Elementary (grades 1-3), Junior (grades 4-5), Junior High (grades 6-8), and Senior High (grades 9-12). The judges are volunteers from the community, including the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association. The association provides prize money to the first, second and third place winners in each of the four categories. 

The winners are: 

Elementary (grades 1-3): 1st place, Chase McClure, Dupont Park Adventist School, Washington, DC; 2nd place, Sanaa Wilson, Van Ness Elementary School, Washington, DC; 3rd place, Daniel Montgomery, homeschooled, Takoma Park, Maryland.

Junior (grades 4-5): 1st place, Aneesh Mandapati, Floris Elementary School, Herndon, Virginia; 2nd place, Rishabh Nambiar, Waterloo Elementary School, Columbia, Maryland; 3rd place, Kennedy Cordle, Church of the Redeemer Christian School, Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

Junior High (grades 6-8): 1st place, Silas Montgomery, homeschooled, Takoma Park, Maryland; 2nd place, Dhruv Pai, Takoma Park Middle School, Silver Spring, Maryland; 3rd place, Elijah Coles-Brown, Moody Middle School, Richmond, Virginia.

Senior High (grades 9-12): 1st place, Neel Mandapati, Thomas Jefferson High School, Alexandria, Virginia; 2nd place, Daniel Bates, homeschooled, Fort Washington, Maryland; 3rd place, Solomon Redo, School Withouth Walls, Washington, DC.

In February 2018, the top placeholders will be invited back to the site to participate in the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial birthday event. They will receive recognition for their accomplishments and their school's participation. 

The oratorical contest is an annual event that has provided students with opportunities for 30 years. Learn more on the Oratorical Contest page.

Last updated: December 28, 2017

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