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Shelby High Student Wins First Place at Optimist Club Western NC District Oratorical Contest

posted May 14, 2015, 12:10 PM by
Shelby High School Junior Michael Rehnberg won a $2,500 scholarship for his speech, “How My Optimism Will Help Me Press On to Greater Achievements of the Future.” Rehnburg presented his speech at the Optimist Club Western North Carolina District Oratorical Contest in Hickory. He was one of five Cleveland County students competing against students from Burke and Caldwell County. Rehnburg won two rounds of competitions before entering the final round.

Shelby High School teacher Amy Johnson, the school’s representative at the contest, said Rehnberg did extremely well under pressure. “The judges took quite a while deliberating over who the winner should be,” she said. “I was impressed with how well Michael kept his composure.”

During his speech Rehnburg expressed his aspirations to earn a doctorate degree and become a meteorologist. He has been fascinated with the weather since age four and hopes he is one day able to notify the public of dangerous conditions in advance and ultimately save lives.

Heidi Steeves, Rehnburg’s English teacher said, “Michael works so diligently on his writing and was reticent to enter the contest at first, yet he practiced, revised, and was a tribute to what hard work and revision can do for one when writing and speaking.”