Declamation Celebration offers a variety of voices

Thayer Academy Middle School recently held its 35th annual Declamation Celebration, and the event brought a "Who's Who" of inspiring men and women, both past and present, or at least their inspiring words, ably and dramatically conveyed by more than three dozen student orators from all grades. 

The beloved tradition featured no less than President Abraham Lincoln and the succinct genius of his Gettysburg Address. There was President George Washington, President Theodore Roosevelt, and General Douglas MacArthur along with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, author Candace Bushnell, and author Nora Ephron. There was Lady Diana, but there was also Prince Ea (Richard Williams). The words of Michelle Obama appeared several times, as did the musings of one William Shakespeare. 

"To all the declaimers, well done," said MS English Faculty and Director of Studies Carter Harrison, who has overseen the Declamation Celebration for years. At one point in the celebration, which was held virtually over three separate days (Grades 5 & 6, Grade 7, Grade 8) because of COVID-19 protocols, participants thanked Harrison, who is retiring at the end of this year, for his hard work and dedication. 

The Declamation Celebration begins a focus on public speaking reinforced at all grade levels in both the Middle and Upper Schools. Preparation for the March celebration begins late the previous fall. Students consult with teachers, librarians, and family members before finalizing their selections. Students receive teacher approval in early January and then begin memorizing their selections. While not all students reach the finals, all students do perform a declamation before their classmates in their English classes. 

For a video of 5th & 6th grade declaimers, please click here. For a video of 7th grade declaimers, please click here. For a video of 8th grade declaimers, please click here

This year's finalists were: 

Grade 5 Declaimers: 

Jack Aiello 

Rory Brosnan 

Abby Concannon 


Grade 6 Declaimers: 

Austin Archabal 

Maya Bobrov 

Katie Cedrone 

Charlie Holmes 

Compton Jones 

Casey Lukens 

Katie McCarthy 

Jack McDonough 

Zoe Rudolph

Tristan Sheehan 

Aaravsinh Vaghela 


Grade 7 Declaimers: 

Mason Barreto 

Mikayla Barry 

Emma Cox

Shaanveer Gupta

Tessa Harper 

Tyler Moshella 

Lexi Maraganore 

Alaina Millian 

Gabriella Monteiro 

David Morisset 

Cassidy Mullin 

Brian Pickel

Nathaniel Shatzkamer 


Grade 8 Declaimers 

Brendan Brosnan 

Emily Bunn

Luke Driscoll 

Townshend Elwin 

Declan Harrington 

Morgan McGathey 

Brooke McHugh 

Scarlett McMahon 

Evan Schneider 

Michael Scully 

Grace Wainwright 

Tony Yin 

Thayer Academy 2021 Declamation Brooke McHugh
Brooke McHugh '25 warns of the perils of procrastination during the 2021 Declamation Celebration. 

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