OMS eighth-grader Kindrel Clark recently won the speech competition at the Southern Association of Student Councils annual conference in Greenville SC.

She is the 14-year-old daughter of Mark and Kecia Clark of Odenville.

"My speech was about leadership," Clark said. "And about how leadership as members of the SGA can affect everybody else."

Clark said she spent about two weeks writing the speech and then memorizing it. She said it really shocked her when her named was called out as the winner.

"I was not expecting to win because it was my first conference and my first time giving a speech," Clark said. "It was exciting."

Clark said she read her speech before a panel of two judges. The speech had to be between four and five minutes.

"I had practiced at home with my mom, and every day with my SGA sponsor Tammy Williams," she said. "Mrs. Williams is fantastic. Had it not been for her, I would not have gotten the speech done. She really pushed me to get it done. I was really nervous; my mom was nervous, but Mrs. Williams was the only one that really knew I was going to win."

Clark said although this is her last year to be at the middle school, she wants to continue this at the high school level.

"I want to continue going to conferences and giving speeches," Clark said.

"This was my first year in the SGA, and it is something I really enjoy being part of."

Clark has plans of going to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pa.

She wants to major in either culinary arts or structural engineering.

"I would love to design roller coasters," Clark said.

Kecia Clark said she was just amazed at her daughter.

"I am amazed to be her mom," Mrs. Clark said. "She blew me completely out of the water with her speech. I had heard bits and pieces of it, but never heard the entire speech put together. When she got up on the stage, it was like she was a natural. She just owned it. Words cannot express how it made me feel."

OMS Principal Debra Carroll said she was so proud of Kindrel being able to go and compete in this particular venue with thousands of kids there.

"It makes me proud to know she performed as well as she did under that much pressure," Carroll said. "Mrs. Williams told me she was magnificent. That came from preparation and hard work. We are all just so proud of her."