Stella Maris Academy Students Shine in Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Competition

By Gavin Colvert

Classical education is an excellent way for middle school students to build a strong foundation for their future academic pursuits while deepening their love and understanding of the Catholic faith. This approach to learning emphasizes the study of the liberal arts which includes grammar, logic and rhetoric. Fundamentally, a liberal arts education seeks to unify the various disciplines through integration and by elevating them through the light of faith.

The study of rhetoric involves the art of effective communication, including the use of language, persuasion, and delivery, to influence or persuade an audience. At Stella Maris Academy (SMA), we partner with Rose Debate in order to offer a weekly speech and debate experience for all students in Grades 5 to 8.  Over the past several months, students have practiced delivering prepared speeches with “clarity and projection,” as well as impromptu speaking skills. In preparation for a spring debate tournament, SMA students have been learning about the structure and format of formal debate.

These important rhetorical skills support the students’ written communication as well.  Over the past two years, our students have done exceptionally well and have been recognized for their achievements in the Chapter, District and Division Levels of the Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Competition.   

This year, the topic was the Second Continental Congress and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. SMA students in 5th – 8th grade won at all levels of the competition:

5th Grade – Natalie A. won the SF Presidio Chapter Award, the SF District III Award, and the California State Award (pictured directly above)

6th Grade – Maria S. won the SF Presidio Chapter Award, the SF District III Award, the California State Award, and the Southwestern Division Level Award. Her essay is now one of 8 essays in consideration for the final award, the National Award! (top picture)

7th Grade – Lex D. won the SF Presidio Chapter Award

8th Grade – George A. won the SF Presidio Chapter Award