Senior speeches occur during the Formation period
of the day 9:40-10:00 a.m.
Please see the sidebar to the left - the schedules are listed by date and by name.
Senior Speech Guidelines
Each senior is required to give a short (4-5 minutes) speech to the faculty, student body, and visitors at morning Formation. The purpose of this speech is twofold: (1) to provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate his skills in public speaking, and (2) to provide a forum for sharing serious and meaningful ideas with the Saint Thomas Academy community.
You will fulfill this requirement in four stages:
1. Submission of a formal text of the speech:
a. Typed, double-spaced, with formal title;
b. Due on Friday of the first week of school (regardless of when the speech is given at Formation);
c. Topic can be changed later (after consultation with your English instructor).
2. Presentation of the speech during English class:
a. Approximately one week prior to the scheduled date for presentation at formation (determined by volunteers, then random selection);
b. Individual conference with your English instructor (either before or after this presentation) for assistance.
3. Feedback from your English instructor and classmates:
a. Immediately after the in-class presentation;
b. Includes mechanics of presentation, length, information clarification, topic suitability, etc.
4. Formal presentation at the beginning of Formation:
a. Takes place after the morning prayer and Pledge of Allegiance;
b. Any changes in the date of your speech must be approved by your instructor and Mr. Sjoberg.
c. Your speech must be the same one that you gave during class (unless the changes have been discussed with and approved by your English instructor);
d. Your speech must reflect any changes recommended by your English instructor.
Failure to follow 4c and/or 4d will jeopardize not only your senior English grade but also your ability to meet graduation requirements.
As seniors, you have a powerful influence on younger students, whether you realize it or not. It begins within the structure of the JROTC program, but its effects are evident in all areas of school life. Simply stated:
"Underclassmen look to the seniors for example."
With this in mind, seniors are expected to observe the following guidelines regarding the topic, content, and presentation of their senior speeches:
1. Consider your audience -- It isn't just your buddies in the senior class! In addition to faculty, administration, and underclassmen, parents and visitors to the Academy are often present during Formation.
2. Select a topic that is significant to you, something about which you have strong feelings (e.g., defining moments, family relationships, social concerns).
3. Select a topic that reflects the values that are promoted and expected at Saint Thomas Academy. If something is unethical, immoral, or illegal, it is not appropriate subject matter for your senior speech.
4. If you choose to address something that bothers you, it is your responsibility to provide a possible solution to the problem. This can be a powerful agent of positive change.
5. Personally notify anyone whose name will be included in your speech. Similarly, address issues, not people or personalities. If you feel compelled to keep it a secret from that person until the day of the speech, you must discuss the reasons with your English instructor.
6. "It isn't what you say...it's how you say it." Respect for and kindness toward others are the expected criteria for your presentation. Anything else is unacceptable. (If you have any question about whether your speech could create problems, trust your instincts ... it could, and probably will.)
7. This is NOT a "thank you" speech! (Do that on your own time.) If you do not include "thank you's," it is not possible to offend someone by excluding them. If "you know who you are" is really true, the list is redundant. Furthermore, it usually detracts from the main point of your speech.
Over the years, the truly memorable senior speeches -- those that have left a positive impression on the entire audience -- have followed these guidelines. This is your opportunity to stand before the Saint Thomas Academy community and leave a lasting impression. These guidelines are provided to assure that the "lasting impression" is positive one.