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2019 Lions Club Student Speakers Michael Matheson, Colby Jobinger, Aaron Hall, Mason Hough and Caleb Lynch - photo Gina Clugston

Minarets Senior Aaron Hall Wins Lions Club Speakers Contest

NORTH FORK – For the second year in a row, Aaron Hall took top honors at the North Fork Lions Club Student Speakers Contest, held on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Scout Building.

Five speakers participated in the Club level of the 82nd annual competition. This year’s topic – “Freedom of the Press: What does it mean?”

Each student is allotted 10 minutes for their presentation, and is judged on the content, delivery and the overall effectiveness of their speech.

Aaron Hall, who won the competition in 2018, is a senior at Minarets High School. He plays baseball, participates in cross-country, and is active in Key Club and several other school organizations. He will be attending West Point in the fall and plans to major in business.

Last year, Hall advanced through four subsequent levels of the Speakers Contest after his win in North Fork, earning over $4,500 is scholarships.

Other speakers in this year’s competition:


Caleb Lynch is a senior at Chawanakee Academy, and competed for the fourth time this year. He participates in the Academic Decathlon, plays football and classical guitar, and is active in numerous other campus organizations. Caleb plans to study to become an aeronautical engineer.

Mason Hough is a senior at Minarets High School. Along with playing baseball and being active in school clubs, he is heavily involved in theater and Academic Decathlon. Mason plans to become a journeyman electrician.

Colby Jobinger is a junior at Minarets High School. He plays baseball and is active in FFA. Colby wants to work for Disney one day, either as an engineer or in the business part of things.

Michael Matheson is a sophomore at Chawanakee Academy and is interested in government, history and philosophy. He plans to become a lawyer, though says his grandmother wants him to run for political office.

Aaron Hall and Jon Norby – photo Gina Clugston

This year’s faculty coaches were Lana Jackson of Chawanakee Academy and Jessica Sweet from Minarets High School. The contest was judged by Tom Wheeler, Dr. Ed Fey, Joanne Brown, and Gina Clugston.

Jon Norby, local chairman for the Speakers Contest for over 30 years, presented Hall with a $100 check for his win, with $25 going to each of the other speakers.

This year, the Lions Club Student Speakers Foundation will be awarding $103,500 in scholarships.

The purpose of the Speakers Contest is:

  • To provide an opportunity for competitive public speaking among students on a subject of vital interest to the contestants and to the American people as a whole.
  • To stimulate self-expression and independent thinking.
  • To present to the public through the student speakers contests the problems surrounding the maintenance of this commonwealth as a free nation.
  • To consider the means at our disposal of meeting the present and future world problems.

Hall will now move on to the Zone contest which will be held at the Oakhurst Branch Library in March. Winners from the Zone contests move on to Region, followed by District, Area, and then the Finals in early June, exact dates and locations to be announced.

The Student Speaker Foundation is a California nonprofit corporation administered by a board of directors and 15 trustees. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide scholarships to augment the prizes awarded to the winners of the California Multiple District Four Student Speakers Program.

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