Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo Courtesy of St. Mary School
William Jackson of St. Mary School, Rome, won the Oratorical Finals held at Blessed Trinity High School and is congratulated by Catholic Schools Superintendent Dr. Diane Starkovich.


St. Mary’s student wins first place at Oratorical Finals  

By NATALIA DURON, Staff Writer | Published May 21, 2024

ROSWELL—Eighth-grade student William Jackson, of St. Mary School in Rome, won first place at the annual Oratorical Finals May 1. 

The event was held at Blessed Trinity High school in Roswell, and five students from other schools in the archdiocese competed for first place. St. Thomas More student Elza Rene came in second place, and Queen of Angels student Jack Gonsalves came in third.  

The prompt of the oratorical speeches was, “When Jesus says, ‘Peace be with you,’ what does He want for your spirit and life today?” 

When it was Jackson’s turn to declare his spin on the question, he stood in the stage’s spotlight with a beaming smile and positive attitude. He answered the prompt by saying that peace was a daunting mindset that can be experienced each day through optimism and trusting the Catholic faith.  

Each student interpreted the question differently, with Rene breaking down the definition of peace and Gonsalves weighing the possibilities of achieving peace in a world that is always changing. 

 Seeing students communicate their talents and thoughts on a unique level was the highlight of the final, said Susan Dorner, Blessed Trinity ninth-grade assistant principal.  

“These students have shown their commitment to our faith by being so passionate in their speeches,” Dorner said. “Seeing them interpret the prompt in their own way and make it their own is amazing.”