Sherman Prize Speaking Contest

The 119th Annual Sherman Prize Speaking Contest was held on February 16, 2023, to a full auditorium and rapt audience. Congratulations and thank you to all the finalists for sharing their stories and inspiring new perspectives and actions. 

Watch the speeches here.

First Place
Joe Zavarella ‘24  

Second Place
Will Outcalt ‘24
The Search for the Sublime

Third Place
Isaiah Gilbert ‘24
The Redlining Outlier
Honorable Mentions

Matthew Devine ‘24
The Last Straw

James Marquis ‘24
How Are You? But for Real this Time

Martin Santelli ‘24
Increasing Challenges to the Virtue of Integrity

At the assembly, students, faculty, and staff were joined by speakers’ family members and three judges—the people with the unenviable job of choosing today’s speaking contest winners. The six juniors’ speeches were judged based on originality, clarity, organization, and quality of delivery. Thank you to this year’s judges:

Bill Johnson
University School Teacher, Retired (1984-2018)

Tony Peebles ‘81
Director, Diversity Advancement & Corporate Relations
Case Western Reserve University
Trustee, University School Board of Trustees

Kittie Warshawsky
Chief External Affairs Officer
College Now Greater Cleveland
    • The Sherman Speaking Contest speakers with Head of School Mr. Patrick Gallagher and English Chair Mr. James Garrett.

    • Joe Zavarella ‘24

    • Will Outcalt ‘24

    • Isaiah Gilbert ‘24

    • Martin Santelli ‘24

    • James Marquis ‘24

    • Matthew Devine ‘24

Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
GRADES 9 – 12
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves over 850 boys in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved.