The Saratoga Sun -

Speech Night Monday: Speech students set to perform at Community Center


Carbon County speech team students are preparing to show off their public speaking skills at “Speech Night,” happening this upcoming Monday at the Platte Valley Community Center.

Speech Night takes place at 7 p.m.,April 22, and features the talents of the Carbon County No. 2 High School Speech Team members. The students who make up the team come from Saratoga, Encampment and Hanna, and are ready with presentations from the 2012-13 National Forensic League speech season. The event also showcases a tribute to the support network of individuals responsible for making the aspirations of the team a possibility.

The students are set to present a body of work which has earned distinction within the state of Wyoming. As the 2013 1A – 2A First Runner-Up State Champion, the Carbon County No. 2 team extends arms of welcome to members of the public throughout the county. Saratoga High School has particularly applauded speech and debate as a valuable life skill, and has hosted multiple state champion teams.

Hard work has been accomplished and echoed by a core of former speech and debate coaches including Jack Patrick, Debbie Riker, Pat Taylor and LeAnn Uhling. District administrators Larry Uhling, Dale Kari, and Mike Erickson have also networked to provide support opportunities for the team members.

Speech and Debate Coach Brenda Ostendorf said she was grateful for the support from school officials, as well as others in the community.

“As a coach, I can honestly say the world will be a better place due to the talents of these young people and the nurturing they have received from those who reside in Carbon County No. 2,” she said.

H.E.M. junior Aleck Freeman, who is a two-year speech team member or “speecher,” is a featured performer set to present his western poetry piece “The Legend of Dan McGee.” He said he considers the speech team to be a vital and important group for high school students.

“When thinking of an ‘extracurricular activity,’ what comes to mind?” said Freeman. “To most people when they hear those words, they think of a sport such as football or volleyball, or perhaps they might think of a club such as FFA or FBLA. But one few people initially think of is the NFL, and when I say NFL I do not mean the National Football League; I mean the National Forensic League, also known as Speech and Debate.”

The 2013 speech and debate team also wishes to extend an appreciation to various others who have worked to support the team’s endeavors. Among those to be found at the front of this reception line are parents of the speech and debate team members, and school district support personnel. Many hours have been consumed arranging schedules, providing rides, packing suitcases, adjusting work schedules, traveling to meets, or making it possible for the students to perform at two-day meets throughout the state of Wyoming.

During this season’s first team fundraiser, held during an H.E.M. and Saratoga basketball game, Superintendent Bob Gates personally donated a cash purchase to the speech and debate team’s cookie sale. That fundraiser, accompanied by additional outside fundraising efforts through coach Gayle Wessel, provided the team with enough funds to purchase team jackets for the first time in the team’s history. The jackets were worn during the co-hosting of the Outlaw Classic Speech and Debate Meet, a Rawlins-based event.

This year the team also salutes a farewell to three accomplished seniors as they embark upon their future endeavors. Amber Adams, Geoff Page, and Colton Woolfolk will be moving toward new futures, but have offered to return in the fall to assist fellow team members in the hosting of the Wyoming State Speech and Debate Coaches Conference, taking place in Saratoga this September.

Approximately 30 coaches from around the state of Wyoming will attend a conference to christen the 2014 speech and debate season. The three seniors mentioned, Adams, Page and Woolfolk, have offered to return and assist in the conference implementation.

This upcoming Monday evening, audience members can enjoy the talents of the speechers, also known as “talk jocks,” and coach Greg Bush will personally fit each of the team members with a wireless microphone, in order for them to perform in the auditorium and be heard by those sitting in the very back. Team members and program features are listed below:

Kat Hytrek – Poetry

Aleck Freeman – Poetry

Amber Adams – Poetry

Leam Engle – Humor

Kaylyn Wessel – Drama

Jacob Dickinson and Taylor Russell - Duet

Rebecca Treat and Kaylyn Wessel – Duet

Geoff Page and Colton

Woolfolk - Duet

The program is free to the public, and everyone is encouraged to attend. At the conclusion of the program, an acknowledgement will also be extended to those alumni who have continued to support the team, and have judged various events throughout the state and throughout the season.


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