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Taylor Eckstein, left, a freshman at Orestimba, claimed top honors in the Newman Rotary speech contest recently. Her older sister, Alina Eckstein, placed second. They are pictured with Rotarian Bob McConnell. 

The Newman Rotary Club recently held its annual speech contest, following the theme “Connecting With the World Through Leadership and Service.”

Rotarian speech coach Bob McConnell suggested that his speakers consider Orestimba to be their “world.”

Two excellent speakers agreed to share how they had become leaders at Orestimba and served in many ways. They were sisters, freshman Taylor Eckstein and senior Alina Eckstein.

In the Newman Rotary contest, Taylor Eckstein placed first and Alina Eckstein was second.

Taylor Eckstein developed her leadership and public speaking abilities by participating in the sixth-grade “speak-off” and would often speak at Yolo school rallies. She has served three years on school student council.

She is involved the Newman-Crows Landing musical theatre program and often serves by assisting fellow actors with their spoken lines and dancing skills.

She will advance to the Area contest to compete against other winners from West Side clubs.

Alina Eckstein has been a band member with her clarinet for five years and will enter college as a performing clarinetist who may become a high school band leader some day. She was selected to be in the state FFA honor band that performed for 7,000 people in Anaheim. She has developed her skills as a stage band member and a performer with the NCLUSD musical theatre program. She, like her younger sister, serves by assisting the other performers with their songs and dance.

The contestants are the daughters of James and Stephanie Eckstein.