A Syosset High School junior is this year's champion in a countywide public speaking competition.

Jaclyn Schess, 17, won first place in the 2013 Nassau County Public Speaking Competition, sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Association and The Friends of Sagamore Hill. Forty-five high school students competed this year, she said.

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Her winning five-minute speech described Roosevelt's friendship with Henry Cabot Lodge, a politician and historian from Massachusetts.

"There's just something about the adrenaline of getting up in front of a group of people and making them realize something they hadn't thought about," Schess said.

She received a $1,000 college scholarship and busts of Roosevelt for her and her school.

Torey McNeil of Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville and Destiny Jones of George W. Hewlett High School in Hewlett placed second and third, respectively.

Schess is secretary of her school's political science club and is a member of the forensics speech and debate team, model congress and peer leader clubs. She also chairs Gotham City Networking's High School Oratorical Contest in Manhattan.