ESU Central Florida Branch

President's Message

 Welcome greeting from Barbara W. Hughes, President...

Welcome to the home page of the Central Florida Branch of the English- Speaking Union.  Many times, I have been asked, "What is the English- Speaking Union and what is its purpose?" The English- Speaking Union is a non-profit, non-political educational organization with the mission to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

The organization was launched in England in 1918 on the initiative of journalist Evelyn Wrench and sixteen friends with the aim of promoting closer ties between English speaking peoples from around the world.  In 1920 the ESU won the support of President Woodrow Wilson, and in 1921 the English-Speaking Union was formed with William Howard Taft as its first President. Presently there are sixty-five branches within the United States and branches in more than fifty countries around the world.

Read Full Message

News And Events

2020 Shakespeare Competition

Our Central Florida winners from left to right: Nicolas Evans (Second Place), Marcela Griebler (First Place), Oscar Murguia (Third Place)

On February 24, twenty-one students from the tri-county area arrived at Orlando Shakes to participate in The English-Speaking Union's annual Shakespeare competition. Contestants were vying for the opportunity to win $1,000.00, an additional prize to cover the cost of travel to New York City for the National competition, and a scholarship to Orlando Shakes' The Young Company, which is valued at $250.00. This year's contenders made for difficult judging decisions. On the panel of judges this year were Anne Hering: Director of Education at The Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Donna Miller; former Program Coordinator for Orange County's Language Arts, and Dr. Maurice "Socky" O'Sullivan: Professor at Rollins College. Marcela Griebler from Freedom High School took First Place with her portrayal of Desdemona from Othello and sonnet 24 under the direction of her teacher, Mrs. Angela Xan Kahn. Second Place went to Nicolas Evans from Lake Mary High School. Nicolas was coached by his teacher, Ms. Becca Southworth, on his depiction of Proteus from The Two Gentlemen of Verona and sonnet 86. In Third Place was Oscar Murguia who was trained by his teacher, Ms. Noelle Monroe, at Colonial School. Oscar performed his interpretation of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice along with sonnet 64. We wish Marcela Griebler the best of luck as she competes in the national competition this April.

 

Read Full Story

 

2020 Drey Scholars Introduced at Scholars’ Reception

From Left to Right: Reta Jackson, Matthew Nash-Brown, Kristopher Khan, Gerry Precil, Lizzy Brannan, Jessica Furiosi, and Barbara Hughes. 

On Sunday afternoon, February 2nd, the Scholarship Committee honored the newly selected Drey Scholars. Gisela Davis presented each new scholar with a year's membership in our branch and a badge so that members can recognize and greet them. Barbara Hughes, ESU Branch President, presented Certificates to the scholars and Reta Jackson gave each an initial check for $2,000 to pay for travel expenses and books for the programs chosen. We are so proud to have these educators travel to the United Kingdom this summer as our ambassadors.

 

Read Full Story

 

Exciting Drey News

Sharyn Jontz, member since 2017, is the winner of a Branch scholarship to attend an ESU travel-learning experience called From Page to Stage in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, July 12-18, 2020. The program will include several performances of The Royal Shakespeare Company, an excursion to the Globe Theater in London, lectures from prominent Shakespearean scholars, behind-the-scenes tours, as well as the museums, sites and shops of Stratford. Sharyn and her husband Jeff will stay at the 15th Century White Swan Inn. This is the first year our Branch has held this blind drawing for members to win this trip. Stay tuned for next year!

 

Read Full Story

 

Drey Scholars’ Report Program

Our six Drey Scholars entertained an audience of captive ESU members as they reported on their summer adventures. Not only did their travels take them in three different directions, but their presentation styles followed suit as well.

A moment of "Story Swosh" audience participation during the Globe Scholars' Report given by Tara Whitman and Jennifer Bennett

 

Read Full Story

 

The Winter ESU Dinner

On January 27th, ESU members gathered together to enjoy delightful company and toe-tap the night away with Orlando Big Band.

From Left: Dr. Ovid Vitas and Michael Kakos

From Left: Michele Levy, Joyce Zeluck, and Barbara Hughes, ESU Branch President

Bennett Harmon and a six piece version of Orlando Big Band

 

Read Full Story

 
 

The English-Speaking Union

Central Florida Branch

Central Florida Branch Landmark Photo

Welcome to the ESU

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.