Speech Team at Schuyler

The speech team has been up and running since the beginning of this school year.  The speech has held practice every Wednesday and had a tournament every Friday or Saturday since November. According to the speech coach the team "has stayed within the top ten at each tournament." With the end of this speech season coming, I asked the coach how the team has been doing. Her response was, "we haven't slowed down. We have a full month of competition in February, including Conference, and are gearing up for March with Districts and State Speech." I also asked why speech is so important to you as a person. She said, "Although I feel strongly about public speaking, I think the most important thing to me about competitive speech is offering the opportunity for students to find their voices and to learn how to use them to make a difference. Competitive speech gives students the chance to branch out and try new things in a safe atmosphere. We are open to all voices, all the time!" I'm so glad we have such an amazing speech coach. She keeps her doors and arms open wide at all times for all types of people. This is supported by what she said when I asked her to name only three outstanding students.  She responded to my question with, "Everyone who can face the fear of public speaking is a hero to me. Every student who works hard and does their best in this arena is an outstanding student." That in itself is a powerful statement and it surely will resonate with me for a long time. Now when it came to her honest opinion on the speech team she said, "I honestly wish more students were brave enough to try competitive speech at least once in their high school careers. It doesn't mean they have to be devoted to it for all four years, but to at least give it an honest try to show that they have what it takes to try something new and to face their fear is an important skill to learn while in high school." I wholeheartedly agree with her statement since without speech in my life I don't think I would ever have grown into who I am today. After all of the questions about the speech team as a whole, I wanted her to tell me how speech has affected her life. This was her response, "I have learned a lot from the students I have coached in the past 16 years. They've taught me to be more empathetic, to view things from multiple perspectives, and to listen twice as long as I speak." Speech has affected her in a multitude of ways but I never quite expected that response. So when I asked her what her inspiration was to start this club she said, "I did not start this club. That honor goes to the late Dan Johnson who spent countless hours working at building the legacy of the Central Players." I guess we all have Dan Johnson to thank for his amazing service to both the speech and our school community. Dan Johnson leads the Legacy of the Central Players filling an entire school banner with the help of our current coach as well. Now I just hope that we can keep the speech legacy alive and in a couple of years finish our second school banner. In the aspect of looking to the future, I asked one final question to Mrs. Enevoldsen. The question was about her plans for the speech team she responded with, "To continue to hear my students, to push them to accomplish great things, and to provide a safe space for all. And of course, to continue to fill our trophy cases."