Speech bonds go beyond school walls

By Kristin Beduhn

There is only one class that requires you to carry around a doll of Edward Cullen, know the song “Can’t Touch This,” and ensures that you dance like a funky chicken. Not many of your classes at Marian have these odd requirements, but speech is the one exception. Marian’s Speech Team, led by Ms. Halli Tripe, has succeeded not only in their competitive achievements, but in their team chemistry and bond.

The Speech Team has placed at multiple competitions across Omaha this year including The Creighton Prep Varsity Tournament and the Westside Speech Tournament. They continued on to Districts in Norfolk where 11 girls placed and the team won the tournament. Senior Kate Kellen, District champion for persuasive speaking, described the team’s accomplishment, “That feeling was indescribable. We have worked so hard all year, and we dedicated so much time to speech. Seeing this hard work pay off was amazing!”

Being District champions is not the only accomplishment this team achieved this season. Senior Diana Elizalde and sophomore Shruthi Kumar will be representing the team at Nationals on May 10 in Denver. Kumar will be competing in Persuasive Speaking and Elizalde will be competing in Dramatic Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation. Despite going to nationals, Kumar said her favorite part, “is knowing I am a part of a team that is a group of girls that will support me in my success and failures.” This response attests to the incredible bond the Speech Team shares.

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Sporting speech power suits The speech girls celebrate a wonderful season after State Speech at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Several girls competed in state events. Photo courtesy of Kate Kellen.

“During tournaments having such an amazing group of people to hang out with makes the super long hours and nights totally worth it,” junior Abby McGill said.
The team bonds though banquets, pumpkin patch visits, sleepovers and unique traditions such as carrying around a bobblehead of Edward Cullen for good luck and warming up for tournaments by dancing like chickens and singing “Can’t Touch This.”

While succeeding at competitions and making unbreakable friendships, the speech girls have learned a lot. One lesson junior Elaina Sperry will always take with her is, “the speech suit does make you feel powerful.” The powerful confidence the speech girls have gained from this experience will stick with them for many years to come.

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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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