Speech sends 32 to state


Photo by Isabel Neff

Naomi Hofferber

Thirty eager Kennedy speech team members competed at individual speech Districts on Saturday, March 1st, at Tipton Middle School in Tipton, Iowa.

Individual events included everything from public address; the traditional speech, to the very complex individual improvisation, which involves one person creating a scene with multiple characters.

Individual speech differs from group speech, which held their competitions last month, and it is just as challenging to the students.

“The thing about individual speech is it’s very individualized. It takes a lot of self-commitment beyond just practice times with the coach,” Sarah Collingsworth, one of the speech coaches, said.

Collingsworth is just of the coaches who have been preparing students for this competition for about three weeks prior. Students were responsible for scheduling their own practices at least twice a week, and preparing their own material on their own time.

While the idea of performing alone in front of a crowd may seem daunting, many students are eager to rise to the challenge.

“Group focuses on teamwork, while individuals really showcases your own talent,” Isabel Neff, sr. said. Neff competed in the literary program category, with her topic of “Perspectives on American Culture”.

Kennedy students competed in various sections of the school, in efforts to rank a Division 1 ranking; the ranking needed to go on to the State speech competition on March 15th.

At the end of the day, 32 performances received the coveted Division 1 ranking, seven performances scored Division 2, and one performance received no score.

The 32 performances will compete at state on the 15th, and from there students have an opportunity to move on to  All-State Individual Speech Contest at the University of Northern Iowa on March 31st, where the best of all the schools statewide showcase their speech talents.