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The 120th Sherman Prize Speaking Contest

The Sherman Prize Speaking Contest

The 120th Annual Sherman Prize Speaking Contest was held on February 15, 2024, to a full auditorium and riveted audience. A record number of members of the junior class—73—entered the contest this year. Congratulations and thank you to all who participated and to each finalist for pouring his heart into his writing, and his passion into his delivery. 

Kam Shiver ’25 was named the winner of the 120th Annual Sherman Speaking Contest this morning for his speech “Thank you, Mom.” A record number of the junior class, 73, entered the contest this year. To Kam, and to all the finalists who took the stage this morning, thank you.

First Place
Kam Shiver ’25   
Thank You, Mom

Second Place
Nate Miller ’25 
The Weight of Praise

Third Place
Aidan Moll ’25 
Smoke and Queerers: Why and How Trans People are Targeted by the Alt-Right

Honorable Mentions:

Graham Borstein ’25 
Why I Am the Way I Am

Gabe Ewen ’25 
In Regards to Writing

William Pich ’25 
The Silence of a Nation

Click here to view the speeches. 

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:

Mark Carle
Teacher and Wrestling Coach, Retired (1969 - 2008)
University School

Brian Offutt ’83 
Senior Advisor
Synova Talent Solutions
Board of Directors, University School 

Lee Fisher
Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker Hostetler Chair in Law
Cleveland State University College of Law

With gratitude, we also recognize the faculty members who happily devoted many hours to the contest's administration, helping students in their creative and rehearsal processes, listening to all 73 speeches, and selecting the finalists. Thank you to Mr. Somers, Mrs. Pribble, Mrs. Worthington, Mr. Garrett, Mr. O'Brien, Dr. Fallon, Mr. Millet, and Dr. Boehnen.

About the Sherman Prize Speaking Contest's Namesake

Mrs. Henry Sherman, née Harriette Amelia Benedict, established The Sherman Prize Speaking Contest in 1904 in memory of her son, George Benedict Sherman, Class of 1903. George Sherman died during his freshman year at Yale in a rock-climbing accident.

George Sherman's maternal grandfather, George A. Benedict, was for many years the managing editor of one of the earliest Cleveland newspapers, the Cleveland Herald. George Sherman has another notable ancestor. His great uncle is General William Tecumseh Sherman, of the Union Army in the Civil War.
    • The 2024 Sherman Prize Speaking Contest Finalists. Front: Aidan Moll, Kam Shiver, Nate Miller, Back: Sherman Prize Advisor Mr. Jack Somers, William Pich, Graham Borstein, Gabe Ewen, Head of School Mr. Patrick Gallagher.

    • Kam Shiver '25

    • Nate Miller '25

    • Aidan Moll '25

    • Graham Borstein '25

    • Gabe Ewen '25

    • William Pich '25

Shaker Heights Campus JUNIOR K – GRADE 8

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

Hunting Valley Campus GRADES 9 – 12

2785 SOM Center Road, Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
Phone: (216) 831-2200