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Katonah's Emma Spada A Winner Of Harvey School's Speech Contest

From left, Giana Yang, honorable mention; upper school winner Julia Chatzky, middle school winner Emma Spada. Photo Credit: Contributed
Julia Chatzky. Photo Credit: Contributed
Emma Spada. Photo Credit: Contributed
Participants with their judges. Photo Credit: Contributed

KATONAH, N.Y. -- Katonah resident Emma Spada and Briarcliff Manor resident Julia Chatzky were chosen as winners in The Harvey School’s 56th annual Wells Speech Contest on Thursday in the school's Lasdon Theater of The Walker Center for the Arts.

Spada, the middle school winner, delivered a speech called “The True Face of Adoption” which she wrote to let people know adoption is a good thing because it gives many unfortunate kids a better chance at a new life.

“Your ‘real parents’ are right there with you, the people who adopted you ... raised you, took care of you when you were sick… there for you when you cut your knee or when your goldfish died,” she said. She expressed her gratitude to her adoptive parents, calling them “two great people.”

Chatzky, the upper school winner, gave a speech titled “Literally, I Can’t Even….” In her speech, tinged with humor, Chatzky defended her propensity to use the words “literally” and “like” in her conversations with her peers.

“My friends always make fun of me for the way I speak, so I wanted to defend myself,” Chatzky explained. She told her audience she thinks it’s wrong for others to label her “a Kardashian-quoting, “Clueless”- loving, Valley Girl wanna be … whose ruining the English language.” She believes her style of speaking reflects positive aspects.

Citing a number of sources, including linguistics professors, Chatzky said, “The ability millennial women have to transform the language is basically a superpower.” She said other research she found suggests “women tend to be half a generation ahead of men when it comes to moving the language forward.” She quoted one professor as saying “‘young women take linguistic features and use them as power tools for building relationships.’” The judges awarded an Honorable Mention to Giana Yang, an international program student from China, living on campus during the week and staying with a host family in Katonah.

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