February 9, 2023 — Applause and Go Hilltalker! are in order for Chardon High School junior Charlotte Jons who qualified on Jan. 7 for the 2023 Ohio Speech and Debate Association's State tournament, marking her third consecutive year to represent CHS speech and debate at the state level. Charlotte, who is in her sixth year as an OSDA competitor, continues to represent the District with excellence as the Hilltopper pioneer in this arena - holding strong each year as Chardon Schools' sole competitor.
Charlotte's event is Program Oral Interpretation wherein she combines prose and poetry around a central theme. In her sophomore year, she created a POI speech on athletic gender equality and placed sixth at the 2022 OSDA State tournament.
This year, her POI speech is centered on what Charlotte describes as "the need for dark humor in our current society".
She stated, "The speech explores the Sad Clown Paradox as well as the phenomenon of comedians using laughter to overcome personal struggles."
Charlotte's 2022-23 Speech & Debate Achievements include:
- 2nd Place in Vermilion Tournament, the first competition of the school year
- Top 5 at the Howland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Hathaway Brown, Sylvania and Solon tournaments; and online at the Mentor competition
- POI Champion at Solon on Jan. 29
- Special Distinction mark, an award that only 18% of speech and debate competitors nationwide receive in their high school years
Charlotte stated, "It's been such a positive experience to see my hard work pay off."
She added that she highly enjoys competing at the State level, describing it as interesting to see unique speeches from talented competitors from so many different districts and inspiring to see her competition in action.
The 2023 OSDA State tournament will be held March 3-4 at Austintown Fitch High School. Approximately 900 students have qualified to compete, with Charlotte among 49 qualifying for the POI event as of the time of this writing.
Charlotte stated, "I have developed such a love for this activity and adore seeing the success I can reach when I put in the work. I am so thankful to have such kind friends, family, classmates, and staff in my community who encourage me to push myself to that success."
To learn more about speech and debate at Chardon High School, contact the school principal, Doug Murray, at [email protected]
Chardon Local Schools