Annual Speech Tournament Brings Students from All Over Northwest Indiana to Valparaiso

By: Mona Sehgal Last Updated: December 8, 2013

Speech and debate isn’t an activity, it’s a lifestyle,” said VHS senior Karl Wiese as he flashed his signature smile before entering his second extemporaneous speaking round.

Valparaiso High School held its annual high school speech meet on December 7. Schools from across Northwest Indiana were invited to compete in this tournament. Students from Valparaiso, Chesterton, La Porte, Munster, Knox, Culver, South Bend, and seven other schools were invited to compete in the meet.

The speech season has been going great so far!” President of the VHS speech team Lena Barajas exclaimed. “Everyone has been competing very well and I think this season is going to be fantastic.”

The tournament offered all of the National Forensic League speech events which are competed in within the district, with a total of 28 events, including novice and varsity categories for each. The competition was one of fourteen meets the VHS speech team attends throughout their season, which spans from the beginning of November to mid-March. The events range from poetry and humorous interpretation to United States and international extemporaneous speaking.

Speech has helped me develop my character. It's taught me that attitude is everything and having a good work ethic keeps you grounded,” VHS Sophomore Francie Fink said after her third round.

Students are able to choose an event of their choice. At meets, students compete in one or more of these events. High school speech tournaments are routinely held every Saturday at a different school in Northwest Indiana. Several participants will also have the opportunity to attend the Speech District Competition held at Plymouth High School on March 8th. The district competition is the tournament in which the top two competitors in Northwest Indiana for each event qualify to the NFL National Tournament.

The VHS speech meet is a wonderful tournament in which we get the opportunity to compete against new and old faces. It's a comfortable place to work on my skills and practice speaking. Plus, it's always great to be at home,” VHS sophomore and United States extemporaneous speaking captain Jane Tullis stated.

It is evident that the hard work of these students is not going unnoticed! Here were the final results for the VHS Speech team:

Valerie Morris- 2nd Novice Prose; Kaitlyn Pentecost- 7th Novice Declamation; Ryan MacDonald- 1st Novice Impromptu, 1st Novice US Extemporaneous Speaking; Aaron King- 3rd Novice Impromptu, 4th Novice International Extemporaneous Speaking; Victor Peres- 6th Novice Impromptu, 5th Novice International Extemporaneous Speaking; Zac Sewell and Angela Harrington- 4th Novice Scripted Duo; Angela Harrington- 2nd Novice Dramatic Interpretation; Zac Sewell- 7th Novice Dramatic Interpretation; Zoe Crim- 5th Novice Dramatic Interpretation; Shelby Hoyert- 6th Varsity Radio; Jacob Devine- 5th Varsity Radio; Joe Ellison- 4th Varsity Radio; Karl Wiese- 5th Varsity US Extemporaneous Speaking; Jane Tullis- 3rd Varsity Impromptu, 1st Varsity US Extemporaneous Speaking; Francie Fink- 5th Varsity Impromptu, 4th Varsity US Extemporaneous Speaking; Christian Sayers- 2nd Varsity Impromptu, 2nd Varsity International Extemporaneous Speaking; Daniel Azar- 8th Varsity Prose; Lena Barajas- 6th Varsity Original Oratory; Emma Mazurek- 6th Varsity Poetry