OPRF student wins second straight MLK contest

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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

For the second year in a row, Oak Park and River Forest High School student Anthony Moaton has won the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest.

Moaton, 17, is the first OPRF student to win the contest twice, let along back-to-back. "Moving Forward" was the theme for this year's contest.

As with previous winners (including himself), Moaton delivered his speech at the school's 27th annual MLK assembly on Jan. 18.

The first-place prize was $200, with $100 going to second-place winner and OPRF junior Helen Thomason.

Her entry recounted some of the struggles Dr. King faced and related those to struggles faced by young people today.

Senior Amber Floyd won prom tickets for her winning entry in the video contest. Read Moaton's winning essay in Viewpoints, and read Wednesday Journal's story about his win last year here.

Bugsy Malone Jr. comes to BRAVO

A Hollywood film spoof featuring kids portraying 1920s mobsters is coming to the stage next month at Brooks Middle School.

BRAVO will debut Bugsy Malone Jr., Feb. 1-2, in the Brooks auditorium, 325 S. Kenilworth. The middle school's performing arts program is piloting the musical for Music Theater International. BRAVO has had a long partnership with the New York-based theatrical licensing agency. MTI licenses thousands of productions each year in the United States and Canada. BRAVO has been the agency's go-to program for piloting youth productions.

The 1976 film musical Bugsy Malone was directed by Alan Parker. The movie featured then-child stars Jodie Foster and Scott Baio.

The stage version continues the tongue-in-cheek tribute to 1920s gangster films. Bugsy Malone Jr. debuts at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 and at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2

For ticket information, visit BRAVO's website, oakpark.revtrak.net, or the BRAVO box office, 708-524-5621.

Feb. 4 forum on OPRF class ranking

The second public forum on Oak Park and River Forest High School's class ranking system will take place on Monday, Feb. 4.

OPRF is exploring the possibility of changing how it reports individual class rank for students. It hosted the first of two public forums for parents on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The next forum takes place at 7 p.m. at the high school, 201 N. Scoville.

Removing individuals' class rankings is a growing trend in area high schools in recent years. Roughly two dozen schools, including Hinsdale Central, New Trier, and Stevenson, have changed how they report rank, partly to provide more opportunities for students applying to college.

A student, for instance, may have a very good grade point average but nevertheless rank below the 50th percentile of a highly-competitive class.

Removing class rank allows colleges to focus more on a student's overall background, experience, grades, and test scores, rather than a single number provided by rank.

Further information is available on the school's website, oprfhs.org.

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com

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