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Student places first in oratorical contest
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One Dawson County Middle School student is going above and beyond when speaking to others.

Seventh-grader Noah Stapp won first place during the Zone 3 Oratorical Contest sponsored by the Optimist Clubs of Georgia. He spoke at the Cherokee County board of education meeting March 22.

The topic for this year's contest is "How My Passions Impact the World."

Stapp spoke on his two passions, writing stories and dance.

He said his passion began on a sleepless night when he experienced the urge to write a story he'd imagined.

"It was during that time I realized I was meant for something greater, stronger and more spectacular than what I thought I could be before," he said.

Stapp said he enjoys sharing his stories with his family and community.

"I am extremely proud of Noah. His delivery, interpretation and stage presence are quite remarkable for a young man his age," said Principal Mark Merges. "We are thrilled to see him advance from our school competition to the club, zone and area levels."

Stapp will compete next on April 12 in the area competition in Canton.

The winner of the area competition will advance to the Georgia district level competition and compete for a $2,500 scholarship.