Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy

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Churchill Award for Excellence Competition


On April 28, RNA hosted their 7th annual Churchill Award for Excellence Competition. Begun by Ms. Leanne Dumais in 2010, the competition consists of three rounds. The winner receives a Churchill medal specially designed and donated by Board of Governors member, Dr. Joe Troiani, and a $250 scholarship donated from the Friends of Rickover.

Three Rounds:

There are three rounds to this competition.

  • Round one requires cadets to choose an excerpt of a speech given by Sir Winston Churchill, analyze his words, and then apply them to current history. Cadets deliver their ideas to the student body.
  • The second round pushes cadets to showcase their knowledge of Churchill’s life. Students are asked 15 multiple choice questions.
  • The final round is the “V for Victory” Challenge that requires cadets to decide whether to wager their points earned from round two. Students are asked a question about Churchill’s life that they must write out. If they wager all their points and are correct, they have a chance to double their second round score. Scores from each round are added together.

The cadet with the most points wins the competition.

 This Year’s Competition:

This year’s competitors were strong. Junior Frank Harris, inspired the crowd with his discussion of how Churchill failed many times but continued pressing forward. He connected Churchill’s words to the audience, declaring that THEY are the answer to ALL of their problems. Sophomore, S. Perez spoke second and discussed how she needs to fight for her dreams of becoming a psychologist.  Freshman Erica Castillo spoke last giving a historical account of how Churchill was able to inspire his people during the Battle of Britain. She tied his words to the current financial crisis and cadets fighting back to keep the school activities they love.

At the end of the speech round, it was anyone’s game. During the second round, Cadet Castillo pulled ahead, answering almost all of the 15 questions correctly. But, she wasn’t assured victory until after the final round - the “V for Victory” challenge. During the final round, all finalists choose to wager their points with Cadet Harris wagering the most. Cadets were asked what year Churchill was born. All finalists answered correctly making the competition tighter still.  Once the scores were tabulated our winners were announced to loud cheers from the student body.

The Winners:

Second Runner-up:  Sophomore S. Perez

First Runner-up: Junior Frank Harris

Winner of the 2017 Churchill Award for Excellence: Freshman Erica Castillo

We are so proud of these young men and woman.