Successful Season yields a Trio of Speech State Qualifiers


Photo Credit: Yearbook Staff

The Speech team poses for a picture at their student showcase.

Caitlin Kronberg, Staff Reporter

Schuyler Central High School’s competitive speech season has come to a close. Melanie Gustafson, Head Speech coach, has confirmed that each member on the team has medaled in at least one event throughout the season. At the Conference in Hastings, there were four medalists, which is the highest number of Conference medals since Gustafson became a speech coach for years ago. At Newman Grove on February 24, Schuyler also placed Runner-up in team rankings. Many competitions did not allow spectators because of the virus. “Covid protocols prevented our competitors from having an audience,” Gustafson said, “This may not seem like a big deal to most, but for entertainers, presentations thrive on an audience.” 

Members old and new both have made many great achievements. Melissa Gutierrez is an achiever and a senior. She has participated in speech for three years of her high school career. Melissa won the speech competition in Scotus and was named as the runner-up in Poetry and Persuasive throughout the season. “My favorite thing about the speech team is being able to get to know new people and form a closer bond with my peers,” Melissa shared. Sophomore Elizabeth Harding joined the speech team this year as a new member. She has consistently made it to finals and medaled in her chosen event, persuasive. Her speech focuses on the media attention that may be the goal of some criminals when they commit violent crimes. 

At Districts on March sixth, Schuyler competed at Wayne State College. As with the limit set by Districts regulations, each of the nine events had two Schuyler entries. At the end of the day, Schuyler placed third as a team. Nine competitors won medals, and three will move on to compete at the State level. Melissa Gutierrez and Elizabeth Harding are two of the State qualifiers. Senior Brenda Lara-Romo also medaled high enough to qualify for State. She performs a serious speech based on “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. After a send-off by the rest of the speech team, they traveled to Kearney, but did not place at State.

The majority of the speech team’s members are seniors. Next season, there will be ample opportunity for new members to play key roles on the team. With nine competitive events, there are many different ways to be a part of the team; perform a script, write a speech, or put on a ten minute play with a partner. With the end of this season, the speech team is heading back to the scripts to begin looking forward to next year.