AHS Dominates District Speech

The AHS speech and debate team earned five Is, two IIs, and a IV at District speech.


Camryn Church

Junior Gen Martinez practices for a competition last year. This year, Martinez was in short film and an ensemble acting group.

Grace Clay, Editor

The AHS speech and debate team participated in eight different events on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the District speech competition. They had three different ensemble acting events, a one-act play, a musical theatre piece, a radio broadcast, an improv duo, and a short film at Districts.

All three ensemble acting groups, the one-act play, and the musical theatre group earned Is at the competition, which was held in Creston. All five events will move on to State. The radio broadcast and improv duo of sophomore Brycen Erickson and junior Lane Muell each received a II rating. The short film, titled “The Direct Message,” earned a IV rating. According to the speech and debate team’s Twitter, last year at Disticts there were four different groups that participated. Three of the four earned Is and moved on to State, while the other earned a II.

Speech and debate coach Trisha Niceswanger said, “I was really proud of the amount of ones.” She was also proud of the younger students who tried speech for the first time and were able to move on to State. Her favorite event to watch is musical theater because “it’s usually familiar” and she likes the choreography.

The District speech competition was freshman Kami Steffens’ first large group event. At Districts, Steffens was a part of a radio broadcast with sophomore Taliya James and junior Rivea Keen, titled “Killer Couples.” She also is a member–along with freshman Kylie Pulido, and sophomores Katy Rothfusz and Nolan Perez–of the musical theatre group that is moving on to State. Her favorite part about speech is “becoming closer with the people I was working with.” Steffens is planning on participating in individual speech and debate. She wants to compete in the acting and storytelling events. Storytelling is just what it says, telling a story. A student can pick out a children’s book and retell it in their own way. In acting, a student picks out, or writes, their own monologue and acts it out. A student could also do a multiple character scene. 

In the speech world, there’s multiple different levels students can compete at. Actors start at the District-level. After that, they move on to State. All-State follows suit. At Districts, there is only one judge and they are able to give verbal comments. At State speech, there are three judges and verbal comments are not given. The students who participate in All-State speech are the best of the best throughout the state.

State speech is Saturday, Feb. 8 in Waukee.