Tag Archives: South Orlando Baptist Church

A Judgement Call~Part 2

15 Apr


Judy Wills




On to my time as a judge. As I said in part 1, our church includes a school/academy. It started out with a daycare and one kindergarten class.   It now goes through 8th grade, some with multiple classes for each grade. So some of the children who started in the daycare have been with this school their entire school experience.



Regency Christian Academy Knights


The school holds several “contests” each year. One being the science fair, that is coming up in a few weeks. My husband, Fred, is to be one of the judges for that.



The other is the speech contest.

This is where my judgment call comes in. The contest is sponsored by the Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial company.



They sponsor many child/youth activities throughout the United States, including the speech contest each year. According to their website:   Available to schools of all kinds, this program provides valuable public speaking experience. Students in grades five through eight are eligible to compete at the local level. Modern Woodmen provides materials needed to run this contest, including the topic, judging guidelines and participation awards. The contest runs year-round.

They pick a subject for each year’s contestants. For instance, this year (2018) the topic was “Inventions that have improved the quality of life.” According to information provided:

Many inventions have made human life much easier. It is difficult to consider a life without the inventions that we are so accustomed to using. This year’s contest asks students to imagine a world without the invention of their choosing and to speak about how this invention has improved the quality of life.

There were three judges, myself being one, and 10 contestants.



They were all in the sixth grade. Those 10 were chosen as finalists by their classmates from the two sixth grade classes. During the speeches, the fifth graders were invited to sit in, to see what they might be participating in next year. It was a learning experience all around.

The students were all quite nervous, as none of them had done any public speaking before. The speech teacher told Fred and me later that she had encouraged each of them to practice their speeches, but didn’t think they did. I’m sure, if they had done so – even in front of the mirror – it would have added confidence to them.

In any case, it was fun to see what topics and titles they had come up with within the contest’s topic. They had such things as:

P.C. for Me! (Computers)

Microwaves (self explanatory)

Keepin’ it Cool (refrigeration)

No Wash Boards, Please! (Automatic washers and dryers)

Cruising in Style (the automobile)

The Incredible Pencil (self explanatory)

and last but DEFINITELY not least:

Bottoms up! (toilet paper)

They were a joy to watch and listen to. Most had done a great deal of research – did you know there are websites for toilet paper?

The only disappointment I had was that all of the contestants just read from their notes – none were “live” and animated. I’ve judged this speech contest for several years, and some were completely memorized and spoken from the heart. That makes the speech much more authentic. Perhaps that is something I’ll suggest for next year.

Anyway, it was a fun experience. I tend to “grade” more leniently that the other judges, but we all came up with the same ones for first, second, and third places.

This year’s winners



However…I’m glad it is over for this year!


~~~~~~~~~~The End ~~~~~~~~~~


A Judgement Call

8 Apr


Judy Wills




Recently, I was a judge….you know…Judge Judy. You see, our church includes a school/academy. It started out with a daycare and one kindergarten class. It now goes through 8th grade, some with multiple classes for each grade. So some of the children who started in the daycare have been with the school their entire school experience.


Regency Christian Academy Knights


I was the church secretary for nearly nine years. Fairly early on in my secretarial position, one of the kindergarten teachers told her class, as they were marching down the hallway, to have their “hands behind their back, and bubbles in their mouth.” That way, they couldn’t touch each other or talk. It was quite nice to have this quiet parade of children walking in front of our offices.

But soon, I found I would enjoy standing in my office doorway to watch them pass by, and “pop” their bubbles. I made the “popping” sound myself, but the children thought they had done it. Many smiling faces followed on down the hallway. And even today, if I see some of those children – now in high school – they will approach me with “bubbles” in their mouth! They still remember the “bubble lady” who popped their bubbles!

The school has a really good reputation. Some years ago, there was a man who came to enroll his child in our school. He and his family were fairly new to the area, but he made the statement to me that “we may not worship at this church, but I definitely want my children to go to this school!” That has stayed with me, all these years. The school does its best to BE the best it can be for the students. They get all the usual subjects to study, but the classes are smaller, and the students have more of the teacher’s attention. I’ve been a proctor for some of the testing, and the students usually score quite well on their standardized tests. Our school is not like the public schools where, I’ve been told by other teachers, that they have to “teach the test” rather than teaching the subject. That encourages me.

There are several “contests” that the school holds. Every year they have a science fair. Fred is usually asked to be one of the judges for the science fair, and he’s happy to do just that. He enjoys what the children come up with to show off their “scientific” skills. He’s also a fair judge, which makes him a good candidate for judging. He said that he actually started judging science fairs back in the 1980’s, probably when we were in Heidelberg, Germany. He did some regional judging when we lived in Virginia. And he’s been asked to judge the science fairs at our church school for several years now, and enjoys doing that. He will be judging our school’s science fair in the near future.

Here are some pictures from a recent science fair:







Fred and the other judges hearing about a project


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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