Hunt Valley Rotary Club promotes truth, fairness, goodwill among students

The Hunt Valley Rotary Club has just celebrated 50 years of providing the Four Way Test Competition to thousands of students in Baltimore County schools.

In conjunction with The James W. Houck Foundation, the Hunt Valley Rotary works with schools throughout the area to introduce the values of the Four Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? These questions have been the guiding principles to Rotarians since 1943, but it was James Houck who in 1968 developed a program to introduce these concepts to children when he began a poster contest for elementary school students. He debuted an oratorical contest at Dulaney High School in 1976, and it has been occurring annually ever since. The entire Four Way Test program has now expanded to 15 schools locally and even more throughout Maryland and D.C. for a district-wide event.

Our local schools that participated were Padonia International, Pot Spring and Warren featuring the elementary-level poster contest, Cockeysville Middle students who wrote essays and the Dulaney High School Oratorical Contest. Overall, 114 cash prizes were awarded to the winners from among the more than 7,000 students who participated. Special recognition goes out to the oratorical winners from Dulaney: Nguyen Thai, Victoria Andrade-Gutierrez and Tony Senatore and to the eventual overall winner, Andrew Spence, of Hereford High School, who went on to represent the Hunt Valley Rotary at the district-wide contest.

All the winners were honored at a ceremony on May 1 that featured remarks from Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Deborah Phelps, executive director of the BCPS Education Foundation, who received The Paul Harris Fellow Award in appreciation for her support and contributions to the Rotary over the years. Congratulations to all the winners and to the Hunt Valley Rotary for providing this wonderful program for our students for the past 50 years.

Checkmate! The Baltimore County Public School Chess Tournament drew more than 200 competitors from almost 50 elementary, middle and high schools across the county. The tournament, which was held at Cockeysville Middle School in late April, featured tough competition with students from Cockeysville Middle School and Dulaney High School winning both team and individual honors.

The group from Cockeysville Middle, which took second place, featured Steven Anton, Sahil Nikanthache, Sowmika Selvakumar and Ashvin Devaraconda. Individually, Steven placed third overall, Sowmika came in fourth and Carols Perez took fifth from among 45 middle school participants.

The Dulaney High chess team of Joseph Tarantin, Ryan Anton, Fanglin Ding, Ethan Hu and Steven Anton took second place from among the 10 high school team in the tournament. Joseph placed third and Ryan fifth individually as well. Glenn Segal, science teacher at Cockeysville Middle, is the tireless force behind the chess tournament, which is now in its ninth year. Kudos to all the budding chess masters in our midst!

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