Kayla Hutcherson, a junior at Armuchee High School representing the Rome Noon Optimist Club, recently won the Optimist International GATEway District Oratorical Contest which includes a $2,500.00 college scholarship.  Kayla came out on top at the finals after hundreds of students competed in local and regional contests throughout all of Georgia and Eastern Tennessee.
Last year Kayla competed in and won the Optimist International GATEway District Essay Contest which also includes a $2,500.00 college scholarship.
This is the first time a student has ever won both GATEway District contests.  In fact when Georgia and Tennessee were separate districts, veteran members in attendance could not remember a time when the same student won those two contests.
The two contests serve the core mission of the Rome Noon Optimist Club and Optimist International which is to “Bring Out the Best in Youth”.  The Oratorical Contest requires students to prepare a 4- to 5- minute speech on a pre-assigned topic and is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience.  The Essay Contest requires students to compose a 700- to 800- word essay around a central idea and is designed to develop writing and critical thinking skills.