02 April
Broxburn Academy  great debate

Emma Crow (S5) was in Windsor Castle at the final of the Historic Association 'Great Debate' public speaking competition where she was up against participants from across the United Kingdom.

Earlier this year she won the Scottish heat, and then won a UK wide semi-final, before making the final shortlist of 22 to be invited to Windsor from hundreds of entries. 

Participants were asked to present on the topic 'Which historical place or person from your local area deserves greater recognition?' to an esteemed judging panel made up of professors of History from Cambridge, Royal Holloway and UCL.

Emma's talk was a fascinating story of Mary Paterson, who was one of the victims of the infamous grave robbers and murders of William Burke and William Hare in the early 19th century. 

She wowed the judging panel and was named as overall winner and in doing so became the first Scottish speaker to win the award since 2008. 

Emma said: "I am very grateful for the opportunity and the chance to do something I enjoy. Mary Paterson was a normal individual who was sadly a victim of Burke and Hare. Something that struck me was the fact that people like Mary have been forgotten as the years have gone past. I think it's important to shine a light on their story and ensure people like Mary are not forgotten." 

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick congratulated Emma on her success.

He said: "This is a truly outstanding achievement. It was a pleasure to meet with Emma and hear more about her time at the competition in Windsor. She is a credit to Broxburn Academy and clearly a skilled narrator which will serve her very well in whatever she chooses to pursue in life."

Broxburn Academy Head Teacher Peter Reid said: "We are very lucky at Broxburn Academy to have a very skilled debating team supported by our excellent staff. Emma is an outstanding pupil and clearly a very talented debater. It was no mean feat to reach the final of this competition never mind taking home the top prize. Everyone at the school is proud of Emma's achievements, especially Mr Robbie McDonald who does a brilliant job in his role as head coach for our debaters and public speakers. Emma deserves this success for the hard work she has put in."

Photo caption L-R : Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick met Emma Crow alongside her teacher Miss Amy Fullerton who supported Emma during the final in Windsor and Broxburn Academy Headteacher Peter Reid

It was a very busy day at Broxburn Academy with some pupils and staff taking part in a charitable dress down day in support of Endometriosis awareness month.