Chapel Speaking Program
The Chapel Speaking Program plays a vital role in the intellectual and spiritual life of St. Sebastian’s. In conjunction with our Writing Program and Chapel experience, it empowers students in every grade to write and speak confidently about topics important to them in a supportive environment.
Developing Public Speakers
The foundation for these writing and speaking skills is laid in the lower grades. Annually, each student in grades 7-11 writes and delivers a speech to his classmates in our weekly Chapel service. Faculty advisors meet individually with students to review their speeches and to provide instruction on effective delivery techniques. After the speech is presented, the advisors’ written evaluations detail strengths and offer suggestions for improvement. This one-on-one relationship plays an essential role in each student’s growth as a writer and public speaker over time. The Chapel Speaking Program is a fundamental and joyous part of the school’s daily mission.
Senior Chapel Speeches
The culmination of the Chapel Speaking Program is the Senior Chapel Speech. Each week begins with an all-school gathering in our Corporate Chapel. In this setting, seniors deliver their speeches to the entire school community – a group of over 400 people. Whether it is a moving tribute to a parent or teacher, a humorous anecdote about time with friends, or a commentary on a political issue, each speech invites and stimulates discussion between faculty and students throughout the school day. Delivering this speech is a highlight of senior year and a rite of passage for every St. Sebastian’s student.
Building a Community of Leaders
The results of the Chapel Speaking Program are often spectacular. Students bring their written words to life, develop sound speaking habits and engage their audiences with increasing effectiveness as they mature. In addition to the benefits to each individual student, the Chapel Speaking Program unites classes as well as the entire school community. Students and faculty gather to hear both the Chapel speeches and also Headmaster Burke’s reflections on each student’s message that follow. In the intimate setting of our chapel, we experience our students’ development as writers and speakers and celebrate their growth as young men.