Each year, Upper School students participate in the Namesake Rhetoric Challenge, which is one of four challenges issued by the houses to earn points to win the house cup. The goal of the challenges is to build overall culture, create history and tradition within the houses, and to promote healthy competition among the houses. Other challenges throughout the year include drama, art, and writing.
The Columba House issued the challenge to all of the Upper School houses, which called the presenters to give a first-person narrative about the origins of their house name. This year, students were videotaped giving their speeches and the videos were sent to judges from across the country who scored them based on content, relevance to the topic and delivery. The judges were: Justin Jones, Assistant Pastor at Grace Community Church and a WA parent; Adam Lockridge, an online professor of Rhetoric and Great Books and Academic Director at St. Raphael School in Kansas; Andrew Smith, a teacher and administrator at Veritas School in Richmond, VA; and Jim Carnes, Westminster’s former Rhetoric teacher.
Spencer Hayes presented for Athanasius House, Luke Bolton for Boniface, Sophie Tusant for Columba, and Jake Hickman for Becket. Along with comments of praise such as, “They were all wonderful!” and “What quality and sincerity from the students,” the judges’ panel declared Sophie Tusant to be the winner of this year’s challenge and awarded 125 points to Columba House for the win.