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2018 Fine Art Award Winners for Speech: Rita Gemmer and Barb Scott

The recipients who earned the Fine Art recognition awards -- the Distinguished Service Award and the Class Act Award -- are teacher-coaches who have set the bar high.

Given for the first time during the 2009-10 school year, the criteria for the two awards is similar. The recipients must be actively involved in IESA Speech. The recipients must demonstrate the ability to develop and promote standards of good performance practices, integrity and life skills within their students. The contributions of both award winners must have positively impacted students and the school community.

For the Distinguished Service Award winner, the contributions must be significant and/or long term for someone involved with Speech for over eight years of teaching and coaching. For the Class Act Award winner, the contributions are from someone involved with Speech for at least 3 and not more than 8 years of teaching and coaching.

Rita Gemmer, who has coached the speech team at Saratoga Grade School for 10 years, is the 2018 Distinguished Service Award winner. As the Speech Coach, Rita works throughout each day during the season to schedule rehearsal time for her students to make sure they are prepared for contest. Rita's love and passion for speech has encouraged students to shine in other activities as well. She truly believes in the educational value of the activity of Speech. She uses the activity to teach students necessary life commincation skills. Additionally, Rita teaches and models to her students the traits of responsibility, dedication, being a good teammate, and punctulality. These are skills that will benefit her students for the rest of their lives.

Barb Scott, who has coached the speech team at Lisbon Grade School for 7 years, is the 2018 Class Act Award winner. Barb has been a catalyst for the growth of the Speech program at Lisbon. With a 7th and 8th grade enrollment of 27 students, nearly 35% of the eligible student population participated on the Speech team last year. Barb also sees Speech as a life-skill needed for all students and her enthusiasm has grown the number of participating students.

Congratulations to Rita Gemmer and Barb Scott. 

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