Speech sending 19 to state individual contest on March 12

Nineteen members of the speech team are going to the State Individual Contest in Clear Lake on March 12. 

Speech member Elene Kodanashvili said that she is looking forward to the event. “It’s going to be so fun. I can’t wait to see everyone perform. There is the potential to be nominated for All-State Speech if we do really well, but I’m mainly going to have fun with my friends and watch people from other schools too,” Kodanashvili said. 

Out of the 23 individuals that performed at the district contest on Feb. 26, 19 are going to perform at State, including Emma DeGroote, Dee Dee Benton, Param Sampat, Alivia Davidson and Caroline Schafer who qualified in two events. Those who made it to State earned a “one rating” at Districts.

“I am looking forward to state speech because I love performing my pieces,” Benton said. “I chose two pieces about topics that mean a lot to me: LGBTQ+ rights and feminism. By presenting these pieces to groups of people and judges, I get to express the author’s and my own feelings about the topics. Also, if I receive Division I rankings at State, I have the opportunity to compete at All-State, which is an extremely high honor.” 

Speech teacher Rob Chagdes said he is proud of the team. “The speech team at CFHS might be a bit of a hidden gem among clubs. We want to be a group where any student can find their place. There are opportunities to connect with each other and grow in some valuable skills. Perhaps most important, speech is a place where you can be yourself and make memories that will last beyond high school,” Chagdes said. 

Benton said she loves the experience. “Your teammates are always here to support you and will guide you to be the best performer you can be, and I truly have met some of the best people because of this. Also, Rob is one of the sweetest and trustworthy people you will ever meet. Even though I have only known him for a short period of time, he has been there for me and stuck by me every step of the way. He pushes you to be the best you can be and will help you in any way he can,” Benton said. 

“All of our contests are special because we do them together,” Chagdes said. “Group and individuals may be different, but the thing that stays the same is we are a team. We support each other, laugh together and help one another get better. When we go to contest, we get to spend a whole day together performing, encouraging our teammates and having tons of fun.”

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