Filimon Kednmarey (from left) took first, Arami Heckle second and Sasha Keeling third.

With eight students from around the state competing, a Maricopa eighth grader won Legacy Traditional Schools’ regional Great Communicator Lincoln Speech Contest Tuesday in Maricopa.

Filimon Kednmarey took the gold medal in a tight contest with Tucson’s Arami Heckle, who finished second, and Sasha Keeling of Casa Grande, who was third. Kednamary won his school’s contest in February to advance to the districtwide contest.

“I’ve been working for a long time on my speech,” said Kednmarey, adding he was happy to see the fulfilment “of my hard work by placing first.”

Last year, he finished second at the campus level and did not place in the regional.

Regional participants

For the regional contest, students in fifth through eighth grade delivered their 3-5-minute speeches from memory. This year, the theme was the impact of social media on adolescents. They were judged on content and delivery.

Kednmarey, whose family has lived in Maricopa since 2013, delivered a savvy presentation on the pros and cons of social media, even drawing a comparison to the unintended consequences of the advent of automobiles.