John Henry Newman student wins Public Speaking Challenge

The Catenian Association Sixth form Catholic Schools Public Speaking 2018 Challenge, Province 14 regional final was won by Hannah Meek from John Henry Newman, Stevenage, who spoke on the ‘Power of Words’. Head Teacher Clive Mathew said ‘We are very proud of Hannah and her achievement.  She is an excellent ambassador for the school and we hope that she continues to pursue public speaking in the future.’ Hannah will go on to compete in the national final to be held in Manchester in September.
Runner up was Nana Edjekoomhene, a Sixth Form student at St Paul’s Catholic School, Milton Keynes, who spoke on ‘What worries me about the future’.

Judging the competition were Chair Penny Carey, Dean of School, Hertfordshire Law School, John Coleby, Director of Caritas Westminster, and Paul McHugh, Secondary School RE Advisor for the Dioceses of Northampton. Penny said ‘We all enjoyed it very much and thought the standard of speaking was really excellent,’ adding ‘I’m already looking forward to next year’s competition.’
This year’s competition attracted the largest number of schools ever, with 14 students from seven schools competing. Organiser Dennis Cooper said ‘This Sixth Form schools public speaking challenge is growing into a significant annual event, and the quality of presentations gets better each year. The facilities offered by the University of Hertfordshire gave us a venue worthy of the high standard the students have set.’

Schools interested in taking part next year should email For more information about the Public Speaking Challenge and the Catenian Association, visit