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Murray Journal

Four AMES students to represent Utah at national education conference

Jun 04, 2024 01:35PM ● By Julie Slama

AMES students will represent Utah this June at the Educators Rising 2024 National Conference. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

In late June into early July, four AMES students will represent AMES at the Educators Rising 2024 National Conference.

“We had several of our Educators Rising students finish first and second in the state competition and we’ll be sending three of them to be competing in Washington, D.C.,” said Principal Brett Wilson.

The fourth student, junior Eddie Memmott, was selected as a regional officer for the state chapter and will represent Utah at the conference.

According to the website, Educators Rising encourages students to learn techniques and get clinical experience before they enter college. Many students get recognized as student leaders and are advocates for education.

That is how Memmott feels.

“Honestly, I decided to run because I realized this would look very good on my resume,” she said. “But then, this club became very important to me. It started very small at AMES. I think only 10 people were in it last year and this year exploded to 30. I want to kind of spread it and help it grow. Education is very important.”

Memmott said last year, her first year in the chapter, she had so much fun with other students and competing in something she cared about.

“I’ve learned a lot of leadership planning and working with people. I have an internship where I’m a peer mentor and I help teach the class with the teacher. It’s helped me understand how to work with students so they’re learning in a positive way,” she said.

Last year, she competed in two categories—impromptu speech and children’s storybook kindergarten through third grade. 

“I’m an artist. So, I really enjoyed making the storybook, and I had the idea of making something I could use, and it could be part of a portfolio. I picked impromptu speech because I thought I wouldn’t have to do too much preparation for it. I was wrong,” she said.

However, her hard work last year preparing for that contest paid off and she competed nationally in impromptu and placed third. The topic was book banning.

“I found out my topic and had 10 minutes to prepare. Then, the speech is between two and six minutes. I could use my phone for research, but really, a lot of it was studying a variety of education topics and getting very good at practicing how to make points with things I already knew,” she said.

By competing in impromptu, “it’s made me a better public speaker. I was so afraid. I’m a very nervous person, but this has changed me. By forcing myself to do it, I knew I’d get better and become more comfortable,” she said.

This year’s state impromptu topic was should mental health screening be required at school and if they should be required to report those findings for the parents, Memmott said.

“It was a big topic and Zoe Dubiner won. She’s going to be competing at nationals,” she said.

Joining Dubiner competing will be Liv Nelson, who won the state interactive bulletin board contest.

“It’s a big cork board and in the competition, you need to create an interactive lesson with it. What Liv did is she made felt pieces of a pig dissection for ninth-grade students in biology. Some people are very squeamish about dissecting so with her felt version, you can learn about the anatomy without having to touch a real pig. It’s very well made and honestly, it would save schools a lot of money to have a reusable bulletin board instead of using pigs,” Memmott said.

That contest, as well as Roxana Gloria’s in Spanish Children’s Literature, is a presentation.

Gloria’s book is written for children in Spanish. 

“She came up with the idea and she wrote and illustrated it,” Memmott said.

Thirty AMES students competed in February at the state contest in Ogden. Eleven of those students placed in the top three in their event.

“There is a big variety of competitions. You can compete in teacher-created materials where you make something used in the classroom setting, you can do a TED talk, you can do improvised speech, write a children’s storybook,” she said. “But it’s more than just competing. There are breakout sessions where we can connect and learn from each other and have a lot of fun interaction with other schools.”

While Memmott’s plan is to go into neuropsychology after high school, she eventually wants to teach.

“My teacher and adviser, Carrie Strecker, talked me into joining and it was a great decision. It’s a great way to learn a variety of skills in teaching and speaking or learning how to create materials,” she said. “I’ll be learning a lot of communication and leadership skills in the year ahead—and having a lot of fun.” λ