News Article
Wabasha-Kellogg Speech Team Advances 10 to Sections!
These proud students show off their medals earned on Monday, April 3rd at the Subsection 1A-1 Speech meet hosted at Wabasha-Kellogg.  Students placing in the top 6 in each category will advance to the Section 1A meet held in Byron on Saturday, April 8.
Coming in 8th place, so serving as alternates in the Duo Interp category, are the sister/brother team of Olivia Sailer, 11th grade and William Sailer, 8th grade.
Two students advance in the Great Speeches category where the student takes a speech of their choosing, written by a noted individual and delivered in front of a public audience, that made an impact then, and has withstood the test of time and still resonates today.  The student is required to analyze rhetorical devices used by the speech writer, and also speak to the relevance of the speech then and now.  Advancing in this category are Lexi Stumpf, 11th grade, who placed 6th with Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" and Anna Vanwey, 11th grade, placing 3rd with Frederick Douglass' "The Hypocrisy of American Slavery."
Ashley Haxton, 11th grade, will go to Sections in the Dramatic Interp category where she placed 5th at Subsections.  In this category the student gives their own interpretation of a piece taken from a play/movie.  The piece needs to be serious in nature.  Ashley is using "Delaila" by Meghan C. Hakes.
Nino Mikeladze, our foreign exchange student from Georgia, joined the team and has done very well in the Serious Poetry category.  She placed 4th at Subsections and will advance to Sections with a composite of three poems; "Erasing Amyloo" by Russell Hudson, "Bleeding Heart" by Carmen Gimenex Smith, and "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath.
W-K had 4 students bring home 3rd place medals in their respective categories. Anna Vanwey, as mentioned previously, and also Spencer Lavelle, 11th grade, in Original Oratory, where he writes his own persuasive speech.  Spencer's topic this year addresses the pressure society places on teens to excel, asking the question, "How Much is Too Much?"
Maria Nielsen, 10th grade, earned her 3rd place medal in the Informative category where the student writes their own informative speech.  Maria's topic this year is about the "Spiders", calming our fears, debunking myths, and emphasizing the benefits of spider silk.
Wabasha-Kellogg's fourth 3rd place winner was Charlie Cushman, 8th grade, in Extemporaneous Reading.  In this category students read directly from a book chosen by the State Speech Association.  The book this year is "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak.  This is one of three "draw" events where students must be prepared to perform any piece from a prescribed list published at the beginning of the speech season.  There were 20 chapters from "The Book Thief" that were selected by the Association.  Students begin their round by blindly drawing 3, and choosing 1 selection to prepare for each round of competition.  They then have 1/2 hour to prepare an introduction and fine-tune their selection before performing. Students are judged on fluidity of reading and well as inflection and the ability to capture an audience with their voice.
Charlie is not the only W-K student to do well in Extemp Reading.  Amber Norgrant, 12 grade, place just ahead of Charlie, earning 2nd place.
Two Wabasha-Kellogg students took top honors in their respective categories, but this is nothing new for these two.  Rose Kruse, 12th grade, and Paul Cushman, 11th grade, have both made it all the way to State for the past 2 years and are on track to repeat.  Paul competes in the Storytelling category which is also a draw category like Extemp Reading.  There are 15 folk tale-style stories that have been chosen for the season.  He should be prepared to do them all, but draws 3 and choses one for each round.  The stories should not be memorized word-for-word but told in the student's own way without losing the integrity of the story.  Paul's specialty is bringing his characters to life by using different voices and postures.  Two years ago he placed 7th at State and last year he placed 5th.  His goal is to make it back to state and maybe even place higher than 5th.
Rose would also love to see a repeat at State.  Her category is Creative Expression, a category which is pretty wide open.  The student writes a piece of their own, either serious in nature or humorous, and then presents it, often in an entertaining manner.  Rose has a great imagination and is a very productive writer.  Her piece this year, entitled "Senior Prank" is fast-paced and comedic, with some great characters that she acts out in a style that is truly her own.  It's fun to just sit back and watch her roll.
The Section meet in Byron will have 12 students in each of the 13 categories.  After 3 rounds the top 6 will then be pulled into a Finals round to compete head-to-head for final ranking.  The top 3 in each category will then move on to the State Speech Meet held at Apple Valley High School on April 22.

Author: Lynn Johnson   E-Mail: