The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Education

March 25, 2014

Northeast students honored with nominations

GOOSE LAKE — Two Northeast students earned nominations to perform at the Iowa High School Speech Association’s All State Festival, hosted by the University of Northern Iowa, on Monday, March 31.

Senior Madeline Schumacher was nominated, for the second year, in the category of review. Whitney Petersen, a member of the ninth-grade team, was nominated for her performance in public address.

Whitney presented a speech by Sally Kohn, titled, “Let’s Try Emotional Correctness.” Kohn is a talking-head for FOX news who emphasizes the importance of communicating your differences with respect. Judge Stephen Larson wrote, “Gestures are so very natural (Are you sure this isn’t your speech?)…Wow! What great emotional analysis…” Judge Debbie Iverson wrote, “Your presentation felt spoken — not recited — really good job.”

Coach Jennifer Huling said that Whitney was committed to continuous improvement, “At least once Whitney was icing down her hamstrings after track practice while asking for constructive criticism on her performance.” Whitney said, “I like how comfortable I am in my speech. It feels like it’s something I wrote myself. Also, I like the message of my speech. It grabs everyone’s attention and really makes them listen, and I really like the dry humor within it.”

Madeline wrote a critical review of the musical “Sunday in the Park with George,” which features a fictional George Seurat, the artist known for pointillism. The message of the musical and her review was: follow your own creative intuition rather than basing your success on the mob-mentality. Judge Mark Hopkins wrote, “Super delivery. Love the energy, passion, and conversational presentation.” Judge Stephanie LaGrant wrote, “You looked confident up there. Good feminist analysis. I like that you personalized it. Awesome vocal variety.”

Madeline is returning to All State in the category of review.

Huling said, “Madeline chose an extremely difficult topic. She only gets eight minutes to convey the accuracy of her insights to an audience that is likely unfamiliar with the musical and she makes it seem effortless.”

Maddie said, “I made sure I never thought the speech was perfect. I kept trying to improve it up until the week before state. It kept me nervous, but alert through my entire speech, which I think helps during the actual performance. If you get too comfortable with the speech, you forget to improve on it, which could lead to your downfall.”

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