More than just speaking

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

Alden-Conger’s speech team helps students be creative

ALDEN — After approximately five years without a speech team, Alden-Conger High School again has the program, allowing students to be creative and build their public speaking skills. 

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The team of nine students is participating in competitions this month and in March before state play.

“These girls asked me if we could do that, and I thought it would be a great opportunity,” said adviser Latisha Thomas.

In the story-telling category the team participates in, there is a list of 15 stories participants learn and say in their own words, adding hand gestures.

“Think of it as like reading a play, but you’re just reading the script and again adding those hand gestures and the vocal changes,” Thomas said.

In other categories, students analyze a famous speech, discuss the word choice and how that emotionally affects them. Participants also use dramatic poses, where they read from either a scene, short story or novel and act that sequence out.

In the serious drama category, students act out a drama or play, and students have comedic conversations in the dramatic duo section.

Izabelle Thostenson practices Thursday at Alden-Conger High School. – Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

The team’s first meet was in Cannon Falls, and it will have a competition this weekend in Jordan. The following two weekend competitions will be at Mankato West and Mankato East before a break, followed by meets in Northfield and New Ulm.

Team members mainly practice individually and said participating in the program allows them to increase self-confidence and meet students from larger schools who come from diverse backgrounds.

“I suck at sports, so this could be something else that could go on a college application, and it’s also really fun,” said participant Izabelle Thostenson.

“I’m opinionated, and I like people listening to me,” Jenny Mulholland said.

Participant Alexcia Abrego said when she was in sports she was not as confident in herself.

“At our ages, people struggle with self-esteem, and this is kind of a way to be able to build up and make you more confident in your ability to do things,” she said.

Thomas expressed confidence the school will continue to have the program.

“As long as the girls remain having fun and dedicated, I think we can keep this program going,” she said.

Team members

Alexcia Abrego

Isabella Garcia

Bryn Evans

Bacari Lodahl

Tirzah Michaud

Izabelle Thostenson

Jenny Mulholland

Hanna Wach

Gianna Hensche

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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