Eleven qualify for IHSSA State Speech

by Kinsey Phipps

On Feb. 24, the Mustang speech members loaded the bus and headed to Marshalltown High School to participate in the Iowa High School Speech Association individual district competition. There were 14 PCM students performing, and 11 earned a division I rating to qualify for the State speech competition on March 10 at John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids.

The rating scale in speech ranks in divisions from I to IV by a single judge at the district competition. The judge will give the performer notes for what to work on and division ratings are announced later. Division I ratings qualify the performer for the State competition.

Those who earned a division I were: Senior Sydney Burns in a Musical Theatre piece entitled “She Used to be Mine;” juniors Alex Inskeep with a Literary Program entitled “Finding Our Way,” Magan Van Haaftan with Poetry Reading entitled “Welcome to America and The Fire’s Still Burning,” Madeline Buys with Musical Theatre entitled “Summer in Ohio,” Brenden VanderPool with Improvisation, Payton Konek with Public Address entitled “March for Life,” Carson Clark with After Dinner Speaking entitled “Why do People Say Ouch?” and Jared Smith with Spontaneous Speaking; sophomores Blake VanDerKamp with Acting entitled “Sweeping,” Madeline Ladehoff with Storytelling entitled “Lamb to the Slaughter” and Jacob Cox with two performances, Improvisation and Spontaneous Speaking, each with a division I rating.

Burns said, “I picked this piece because it’s very emotional, and it was easy to connect to the song. I was very excited to see my rating because I didn’t make it to State last year.”

Other performers earning a division II rating were: juniors Cade McCombs with Poetry Reading entitled “Untitled Poem, The Power of a Smile,” Mia Rouse with After Dinner Speaking entitled “Disney Convention,” Smith with Improvisation, VanderPool with Poetry Reading entitled “It Has to Have Meaning, Competition, Beyond Soon” and Van Haaftan with Storytelling entitled “Avenlight;” sophomores Chloe Inskeep with two pieces, Prose Reading entitled “Little Red Riding Hood–A Politically Correct Fairy Tale” and Radio News Broadcasting, and VanderKamp with Spontaneous Speaking.

“I am thrilled with the results. Kids tried new categories and really stepped out of their box,” speech director Janice Davis said. “I am always impressed with kids who can get up in front of a crowd and perform, whether they are singing, acting, reading or putting a speech together in three minute’s time.  These kids are practicing skills that will take them far into their successful adult lives.”

The 11 State qualifiers will perform at the individual State speech competition on March 10 at John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids. They will be performing their qualifying pieces in front of a panel of three judges who will each give the performer a rating. Later, the judges will deliberate to decide which performances will earn the honor of performing at the prestigious Iowa High School Speech Association All-State Speech Contest.