The Daviess County High School Speech Team competed in the Kentucky High School Speech League state tournament March 15 and 16.
Nine DCHS speech team members advanced from February’s regional to the state tournament at the University of Kentucky. Kamryn Arnold, Jayln Griffith, Sam Hadden, Ellie Howard, Devin Melton, Kaytlyn Meyer, Logan Mills, Jada Prater and Kylie Strehl competed in the preliminary competition on Friday.
Students were entered in a variety of events including impromptu speaking, dramatic interpretation and improvisational duo.
After three rounds on Friday, Hadden, Griffin and Meyer advanced to the quarterfinals, semifinals and then finals in their respective areas.
Hadden placed 3rd in dramatic interpretation with his selection, Fred Astaire’s Got Nothing On Me. Griffith finished 6th in broadcast announcing. Meyer captured 2nd place and tournament runner-up in storytelling for her selection, Martina, The Beautiful Cockroach.
“Growing up with extreme social anxiety, the speech team has helped me gain confidence that I never in a million years would have thought I would be able to have,” Meyer said. “My dream career choice when I get out of high school is to become an actress. Although intimidating, going into a room full of judges will better prepare me for great auditions happening in the near future.”
Griffith said that working with friends and using only words is what he enjoys most about speech team. He plans to use the skills he has learned in his future to major in communications.
“I love the opportunity to build characters and relationships with scene partners and on my own but my favorite part, particularly this year, was telling a story that was meaningful to me and others,” Hadden said. “I plan on going to WKU to major in theater and then move to Chicago to pursue acting as a career.”
This was the first time in team history that three competitors advanced to the finals.
The DCHS team was recognized as a Team of Distinction for squad efficiency at Saturday’s award ceremony.
Karen Feldhaus has coached the DCHS speech team for 22 years and said she takes great joy in watching students develop as public speakers and then using the skills they have gained from speaking when they enter the workforce.
“Competitive speech, or forensics, provides students with experience in public speaking, interpretation, acting and debate,” Feldhaus said. “Additionally, students gain valuable life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, resilience and self-awareness.”
The competitive speech season runs from October through March.