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Somyr Perry

Somyr Perry
San Diego, California,
March 28
I love champagne. Well, I love alcohol, in general. Especially when I'm having a bad hair day.


JUNE 6, 2010 2:55PM

An Exercise in Speech Writing and Public Speaking

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The principal of my daughter's school asked if I would deliver a speach speech to our church congregation about the benfits of Catholic school and why I chose St. Francis. I haven't done any public speaking in a LONG time, and I don't even think I've ever written a speach speech (that wasn't for a class or something), but I agreed, since she implied there was a script to read from.

But then I find out that actually, she wants me to write a speach speech sharing my personal experiences at St. Francis to encourage and inspire other young families to consider educating their kids at St. Francis.

So even with a newborn baby fussing in the bassinet, I stayed up two nights in a row preparing a short speach speech to give at Mass on Sunday. I hope it's everything the principal is looking for.

"Good morning. Another school year is coming to a close, and many families are making decisions and arrangements for their children’s education for the coming fall.

My name is Somyr Perry, and I’d like to tell you about our wonderful parish school and why a Catholic school education is one of the best decisions my family has made.Many people ask why I chose St. Francis Parish School out of all the schools in North County; but the more important question is, “now that I’ve chosen St. Francis, why do I choose to stay?”

I’m a product of Catholic education from kindergarten through high school, so the idea of religion classes, paying tuition and wearing uniforms was a way of life for me. Choosing a Catholic education for my kids was a no-brainer.

But for my husband, the idea was unfamiliar and frankly a little daunting. He had many questions:

How could we ever explain to our fashionista daughter that she would have to wear the same outfit every day? [hopefully pause to accomodate audience laughter]

But more seriously, how could we afford tuition? How could we harmonize our busy home life and work schedules with stewardship and volunteering? Is the curriculum going to focus on God all day?

My belief in Catholic education was so strong, that with guidance from the St. Francis teachers, support from our families, and trusting in my belief in Catholic education, my husband agreed to enroll our daughter.

Not everything about sending our daughter to Catholic school has been easy: It’s a big commitment for parents. Tuition isn’t cheap and we’re not rich. But with support from our families and a few prayers along the way, paying tuition is no different than our other monthly phone, cable or other household bills.

Also, finding time for stewardship hasn’t been easy in our house with two full-time working parents. But the school has many flexible and creative opportunities to fulfill volunteer hours.

Now, after a year of school at St. Francis, even with the extra time and monetary commitment, the benefits of a Catholic education are clear to my husband and together, we can answer that important question of “why we choose to stay at St. Francis.”

We love the well-balanced education of mastering reading, math, arts and science, but also studying the values of faith, service and worship. Our children don’t have classes about God all day, but it makes a big difference when they learn how God has meaning in all that they do in their lives, including in their education.

We love that Fr. Bud, Fr. Gus or Fr. Peter visits the classrooms regularly. It bridges that gap between the school and the parish and makes me feel confident in our children’s connection to their church.

Finally, I really enjoy this community of parents, educators and faith-based mentors all dedicated to achieving the same goal: to help our children grow spiritually, intellectually, socially, psychologically and physically. And within this community, my family has developed a camaraderie and friendship with other families that continues to grow when we get together for a parent-teacher board meeting, or at school functions or even when we sit next to each other in Mass.

In short, choosing to stay at St. Francis Parish School has made a world of difference in our family’s quality of life.

If you’d like to learn more about St. Francis Parish School, you may visit our website, call the school office, or you can find me after Mass and I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Thank you."      


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I think it important to spell SPEECH correctly when writing one, or writing about writing one.
maybe the practice of mis-spelling a simple word---'speech' is a product of what she calls, 'a catholic education.'
Ablonde, you are absolutely right. Thanks for taking me to task. Sometimes my posts are carelessly put together. Thanks for reading in any case.

Ben, I appreciate you taking time to comment. Though I wish your comment had more substance and less snark.
I also chose Catholic schools in which to educate my two daughters. An education my parents didn't choose for me when I was in school, but the seed was planted more than twenty-five years ago and went full steam ahead without one regret.

One of the things I noticed was the writing skills they acquired. I read most of their works and was always amazed and pleased with what I read. One daughter's strength was research writing while the other daughter was a wonderful story teller. That is just one of the million things they learned and experienced during the years in a parochial school system. The mission was to educate the whole person, celebrate traditions, friendships, and school pride. Not to mention, one has gone on to have a career in publishing where she gets paid to research, write, edit, and maybe use 'spell check'. The other daughter has had opportunities in performing arts and culinary arts. Yay! I'm proud.

Sheesh!, Ben, you may want to do more research on 'a catholic education' instead of being critical of one misspelled word. You said it....a simple word. Certainly that one word doesn't even begin to touch the surface of her educational experience or define her ability to inspire others. You really missed the message. Give credit where credit is due. Yikes!!

Ablonde, yes, correct spelling is important, but the message trumps this one by a long shot.

Jane, you got it! That's what this forum is all about.

And since we're talking about writing, spelling, and/or misspelling I think Somyr has written beautifully and hopefully inspired her audience to consider a catholic education for their children. I can guarantee she wasn't being judged on a misspelled word, but on the content and her committment to the choice she has made for her daughter's education. Regardless of public or private schooling, parental involvment is key.

Somyr, well done!