Speakoff

Courtesy photo

Beaumont speakers: last year’s winner Katalina Peterson and this year’s winner Shumirai Soda, at right.

For the second year in a row, Beaumont High School has taken top accolades at the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District’s state competition.

The first place honor at the The IERCD annual Speak-Off competition held in San Diego last month was, for the first time in the competition’s history, shared by two winners, Beaumont High School senior Shumirai Soda and Ann Sobrato High School senior Jared Mandrell.

Students were tasked to address “How can resource conservation districts help landowners reduce the threat of fires?”

The timely topic was not lost on attendees, many who had been directly affected by fires and looming smoke.

In her speech, Soda advocated the hosting of seminars, safety fairs and providing of video tutorials on proper use of fire extinguishers could be basic steps property owners and the public could take toward prevention.

“I urge you not to be disheartened,” Soda said, “as the surge for proactiveness in fire awareness begins. Maybe the first few seminar attendances are low, or maybe kids aren’t drawn to the safety fairs at first, but think of it like a painting: each stroke alone may seem juvenile or useless, but as the strokes multiply and the lines start to take form, a masterpiece is left. Our tiny strokes will one day become a masterpiece. Together we can stop the fires of tomorrow.”

In October Soda took first place at the regional competition held at IERCD’s East Valley Water District’s headquarters in Highland, when Beaumont senior Remy Altuna finished in second place.

Last year Beaumont High School senior Katalina Peterson won IERCD’s state competition, setting the stage for consecutive success for Beaumont.

The IERCD is a public agency that provides preservation, restoration, education and outreach services to more than 25 cities and unincorporated communities in San Berardino and Riverside counties.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at dheiss@recordgazette.net , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at dheiss@recordgazette.net , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.

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