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“Words that Shook the World”: Senior Wins Public Speaking Prize

Phillip Annand, grandson of longtime Princeton resident Bertha Toussaint, and son of Princeton High School graduate Romy Toussaint, has won the 2nd National “Words that Shook the World” High School Public Speaking Competition.

Phillip. a senior in Ellen Chepiga’s public speaking class at Lawrence High School (LHS), will receive a $40,000 scholarship to the college/university of his choice, and Lawrence High School will receive $5,000.

High school students from around the country uploaded videos in this “You Tube” meets “American Idol”-style competition, and the finalists performed their speeches live on Monday, January 21, Dr. King’s birthday, on Richard Greene’s WWRL-AM 1600 national radio program, Clout! Winners were announced on the program on Wednesday.

Past and current judges for the competition have included Sting, Erin Brockovich, ABC White House Correspondent Ann Compton; Chief Judge of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Billy Wilkins; motivational speaker Tony Robbins; actor Ray Romano, actress Melissa Fitzgerald, best known for her role on The West Wing as Carol Fitzpatrick, and Mark LeBlanc, President of the National Speakers Association.

In addition to participating in public speaking events, Phillip, an honors student throughout high school, was voted this year’s LHS Homecoming King. He is a captain on the varsity basketball team, and an all-state varsity soccer player. An entrepreneur and a social activist, he created his own company, Award Tour brand of clothing (, and has been co-owner of a disc jockey company that has entertained at big and small events for five years. During his sophomore year, Phillip, who is the oldest of four brothers, went to Gulfport, Miss., to assist with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Last summer, he volunteered at a camp in Coatesville, Pennsylvania for children whose parents are incarcerated. He also volunteers as a counselor with the Lindsay Meyer Teen Institute, a drug- and alcohol-free student group. Phillip wants to study graphic design and minor in business.

Hear Phillip’s entry by going to


PDS Mock Trial Team Advances to Finals

Princeton Day School’s Mock Trial Team on Wednesday captured the Mercer County Championship, with senior Ben Fisch of Princeton named Outstanding Participant in the county.

Princeton Day School (PDS) is undefeated in Mercer County mock trial competition since 2005. The 11-student team now advances to the Central New Jersey Regional Tournament next month.

“I’m very proud of this amazing team,” said Upper School Teacher Barbara Walker. “Mock trial requires a keen ability to synthesize and analyze information, think logically, and communicate effectively. These students take their roles seriously and always come prepared to do their best.”

PDS competed in the finals against Notre Dame High School after besting Hamilton West High School, the Lawrenceville School, and Stuart Country Day School in earlier rounds.

The Mercer County Mock Trial competition is sponsored by the New Jersey Bar Association.

“Mock trial competition requires students to be well informed and able to think on their feet,” said Head of Upper School Carlton Tucker. “These students have proved they are champions at both.”


Dean’s Lists

Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, recently released its dean’s list for outstanding academic achievement during the fall semester of the 2007-08 academic year. Students on the list from the Princeton area include Rachel B. Axelrod, Kathryn A. Batchelor, Daniel T. Cavallaro, Jessica M. Cellars, Lauren N. Gram, Alexandra R. Gutowski, John S. Morrison III, and Allison C. Posta.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has recognized area resident Lindsay Langdon March of the School of Education on its Dean’s List for the fall semester of the 2007-2008 academic year.

Robert J. Smyth made the Dean’s List at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts for the 2007 fall term. Mr. Smyth, a second semester sophomore, is a Communications, major, concentrating on broadcast radio.


KSS Architects, an architectural design firm with offices in Princeton and Philadelphia, has promoted Vashtie Coefer to director of marketing and communications. Ms. Coefer previously served as the firm’s marketing manager for five years. In her new role she will be responsible for the overall planning, development, and implementation of all of KSS’s marketing strategies, communications, and public relations activities. Additional responsibilities include facilitating and implementing the annual marketing plan; planning and administering the firm’s marketing budget; organizing client relations activities; supervising the firm’s request for proposal (RFP) process; and overseeing the firm’s communications designs and website.

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