California High School Speech Team Has Success at Districts in Sedalia

Six students recently competed in the District Speech and Debate Tournament at State Fair Community College. The event qualified one student, Kassi Meisenheimer, to advance to State in the following categories: Poetry, Dramatic Interpretation, and Humorous Interpretation. She won first place in Poetry and Dramatic Interpretation, and second place in Humorous Interpretation. Meisenheimer expressed surprise and excitement at being able to advance to State.

Tiffany Brown, speech team coach, was very pleased with the results, noting that this was her first time coaching/competing at Districts in Speech.

CHS students who competed were Ashlee Davis, Kassi Meisenheimer, Kristen Dummermuth, Sarah Couchman, Walter Juarez, and Caitlin Dummermuth (the only underclassman who competed). Walter Juarez placed seventh in Storytelling and fourth in Original Oratory, just one point away from qualifying for state.

Juarez commented, "I am going into public speaking so this has really helped me a lot. I hope to come back and judge future tournaments when California starts hosting them."

The CHS team had a total of nine entries, with five of them advancing to finals; 21 schools competed in the competition. California also competed in the Prose, Radio, Extemporaneous, and Duet Acting categories.

Brown commented, "Having never been to Districts before I had no idea what to expect other than fierce competition from the other 22 schools. To walk away qualifying from state in a third of the categories was amazing!"

Others who traveled with the team were timekeepers Nate Burkett, Courtney Kilmer, Patricia Garcia, and Justin Mitchell. Regan Downing also traveled with the team to lend support and cheer the team.

Brown also noted, "We not only qualified for State, but we saved lives. Walter Juarez gave such a compelling Original Oratory on organ donation that he convinced one of his judges to become an organ donor." Brown and Meisenheimer will travel to State on Saturday, April 21.

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