Jenna Wenzel, an eighth grader at Church Hill Middle School, became the District Champion of the Second Annual Comal Speaks competition for her exceptional confidence, voice and speaking skills.
Thirteen middle school students competed Friday at the District’s headquarters for the championship title. Representing their middle schools, the sixth through eighth grade competitors were each given a topic related to Comal Commitment character traits, which consist of responsibility, respect, judgment, honesty, integrity, courtesy, confidence, teamwork, empathy and perseverance.
The students were given three minutes to prepare their responses and three minutes to present their speeches to three judges.
Wenzel was asked which trait was the hardest to manage, and her response was perseverance using firsthand accounts to make her point.
“It is sometimes hard to convince yourself to keep going,” explained Wenzel, who showed her own perseverance by attending the day’s competition although she wasn’t feeling well.
The Comal Speaks competition started last year in order to continue and capitalize on the interest students had in the Comal Shakes competition for elementary students. Many of these finalists competed as elementary students in the Shakes contest and were anxious to continue to use the character traits in middle school.
“Many students were asking teachers, so ‘what’s next?’ for us,” says Carla Schumann, the district’s director of fine arts. “Comal Speaks has kept them motivated and interested in character building. We are now looking to extend the competition into the high school with a way to further develop their skills.”
This year’s Comal Speaks finalists included Jameson Brock, eighth grader from Canyon Middle School; Hannah Blankenship, eighth grader from CHMS; Wenzel; Davis Brimager and Kylie Valenta, eighth graders from Danville Middle School; James Cornell and Danielle Smith, sixth graders from Mountain Valley Middle School; Chaya Powell, eighth grader from Pieper Ranch Middle School; Rowen Hamilton, seventh grader from PRMS; Peyton George and Chloe Bankston, sixth graders from Spring Branch Middle School; Lance Remington, eighth grader from Smithson Valley Middle School; and Ashlyn Darilek, seventh grader from SVMS.
Photo 1: Second Annual Comal Speaks district champion Jenna Wenzel, eighth grader at Church Hill Middle School.
Photo 2: Comal ISD Superintendent Andrew Kim presents a plaque to this eighth grader Jenna Wenzel of Church Hill Middle School. Wenzel is this year’s district champion of the Second Annual Comal Speaks competition.
Photo 3: Finalists in the Second Annual Comal Speaks competition represented every Comal ISD middle school. Back row from left: Chaya Powell, eighth grader Pieper Ranch Middle School; Lance Remington, eighth grader Smithson Valley Middle School; Rowen Hamilton, seventh grader PRMS; Kylie Valenta, eighth grader Danville Middle School; Hannah Blankenship, eighth grader Church Hill Middle School; and Jameson Brock, eighth grader Canyon Middle School. Front row from left: Peyton George, sixth grader Spring Branch Middle School, Ashlyn Darilek, seventh grader SVMS; Chloe Bankston, sixth grader SBMS; Danielle Smith, sixth grader Mountain Valley Middle School; James Cornell, sixth grader MVMS; Jenna Wenzel, eighth grader CHMS; and Davis Brimager, eighth grader DMS.