Four earn All-State honors

Four South Tama students earned Individual Speech All-State honors including Kobe Van Dee, Evan Glockl, Libby Albright and Morgan Haughey. Photo Provided

Four South Tama students earned top honors for their individual speech performances at State this season.

Kobe Van Dee, Morgan Haughey, Libby Albright and Evan Glockl received All-State nominations for their performances in original oratory, poetry, literary program and prose.

Haughey performed a poetry piece called “Be A Lady They Said” by Camille Rainville. Libby Albright performed a literary program called “Caged” that included excerpts from the New York Times best selling book Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Glockl performed a prose piece called “Death by Scrabble” by Charlie Fish. Van Dee performed a deeply personal original oratory called Man’s Best Friend which he wrote.

The piece was about the passing of his childhood dog which occurred in August. He knew it was a risk because an original oratory is typically a piece which requires persuasion using both personal information and data. The risk was worth it for the senior and it ultimately paid off. Van Dee received a split one for his state performance but was nominated for All-State by two of the judges.

To get nominated for All-State students must receive a I rating at Districts to move on to State. At State students must receive at least two I ratings from two of the three judges. Judges then make nominations and students must have two nominations to receive All-State.

South Tama’s Jimena Nunez performs her individual speech poetry piece title Poetry of Sandra Cisneros at Parent night last month. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

Districts were held February 27 and State was held March 13.

Twenty four students performed 33 categories this season including poetry, prose, storytelling, acting, literary program, radio news, solo musical theatre and after dinner speaking.

Auditions were held in December before Christmas break to give students the holidays to work on their pieces. Practices started in January after students returned from break.

Just like every other school sponsored activity COVID-19 sent speech coaches to the drawing board to decide how to safely hold contests.

The Iowa High School Speech Association gave schools the flexibility to make the best decision for themselves. Murphy said it was both a strength and a weakness of the season.

South Tama’s Sydney Parizek performs her individual speech storytelling piece titled Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament at Parent night last month. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

Typically schools would attend competitions at a centralized school with several other programs from around the state. There is an excitement and energy that comes with traveling to another school for competition.

Murphy and large group speech coach Dixie Forcht presented a united front deciding all contests would be held at South Tama for both speech seasons.

Murphy tried to make State as memorable as she could by having a game of individual speech related bingo for the students to play on the day of State.

Earning an overall one at State were Sydney Parizek (storytelling), Itzel Herrera (storytelling), Morgan Haughey (poetry), Jimena Nunez (poetry), Sydney Parizek (radio news), Kalista Koster (prose), Libby Albright (solo musical theatre), Evan Glockl (solo musical theatre), Luis Avalos (solo musical theatre), Jonah Houghton (solo musical theatre), Libby Albright (literary program), Luis Avalos (Literary Program), Kobe Van Dee (original oratory), Riley Grimes (original oratory), Tyler Moran (after dinner) and Hope Werner (acting).

Even though Individual Speech is all about the solo performance, Murphy was proud of the students for creating a team atmosphere.

South Tama’s Itzel Herrera performs her individual speech storytelling piece titled Too Many Tamales at Parent night last month. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

“The upperclassmen really did a good job of mentoring and encouraging the underclassmen,” Murphy said.

Murphy was assisted by Crystal Hass, Lindsey Hassman and Rachel Davis.