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Laguna Blanca’s Andrew McCaffery Wins Optimist Club’s District Oratorical Contest

The junior earns a $2,500 scholarship for his speech, 'If I Were the Leader of the Free World'

Laguna Blanca junior Andrew McCaffery with public speaking instructor Trish McHale
Laguna Blanca junior Andrew McCaffery with public speaking instructor Trish McHale

After winning the club, zone and area contests, Laguna Blanca School junior Andrew McCaffery went on to win the final, Pacific Southwest District Optimist Club Oratorical Contest in Los Angeles on May 15.

He received a $2,500 scholarship for his speech, “If I Were the Leader of the Free World.”

“This is the first time in 16 years that a Laguna student has advanced this far in the competition,” public speaking instructor Trish McHale said.

The last Laguna student to do so was alumnus Ryan Brown.

“If memory serves me correct, actor Neil Patrick Harris, former star of the Doogie Howser, MD television show won the same contest a few years before me,” Brown said. “I enjoyed the process and the opportunity to speak at several local Optimist Club chapters as I made my way through the competition rounds. The public speaking skills have continued to serve me well — yesterday I gave a seminar on estate planning for my law practice, something I do several times a month now.”

McCaffery’s public speaking instructor Trish McHale added: “As Andrew presented his speech, I could envision him speaking on the Senate floor!”

— Tara Broucqsault is communications director at Laguna Blanca School.

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