Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Friday, April 11, Kimball Area High School will be proudly represented by two outstanding young people in the Minnesota State High School League State Speech Tournament, held this year at Chanhassen High School. Sophomore Jonathan Bisila and eighth-grader Regan Dockery will be competing for top honors at the tournament.
The road to state begins with the subsection tournament, where the top six competitors in each of 13 categories advance to the Section tournament. Then, at the Section tournament, the top 18 speakers in each category compete for three rounds, and the top eight speakers after those rounds compete head-to-head in a final round where they are evaluated by three judges. When final round results are tallied, the top three speakers advance to the State tournament to represent their section.
Kimball had 14 entrants in the Section tournament in 11 categories. Sam Cooper, Nessa Dahle, Megan Bisila, Sheila Konz, Paige Ruehle, and Dustin Opatz all spoke well, but did break the top eight speakers in their categories. Kimball's finalists included: Katelyn Lichte, sophomore, eighth in Extemporaneous Speaking; Tyler Dockery, sixth in Creative Expression; Chelsey Maus, fifth in Humorous Interpretation, McKenzie
Libbesmeier, fifth in Original Oratory; Alissa Jones, fourth in Extemporaneous Reading. Camen Miles and Logan Bartholomew, both sophomores, tied with the same total score for third place in Duo Interpretation, but the state qualifying third place was awarded to their competitors by judges' preference, meaning that two out of three judges ranked the Kimball duo lower than the one advancing.
Which brings us to Kimball's state entrants. Regan Dockery has competing strongly this season with her Original Oratory entitled "Incorporating Anti-Gay Language in Schools Bullying Policies," making final round at several tournaments and placing as Conference Champion in her category.
This is Regan's second year in speech and her first in Original Oratory. Her passionate delivery, confident poise, and dedication to improvement are among several qualities that have marked her as a top speaker this season.
Jonathan Bisila is making his second State Tournament showing in his two years in speech; last year he took the Discussion second place in Sections, and his first in the category of Great Speeches. Jonathan's speech, "Do Schools Kill Creativity?" analyzes a speech given by Sir Ken Robinson, a world-renowned expert in arts in education. After attending a youth leadership conference last spring where Robinson delivered a keynote address (for which he missed last year's conference speech tournament!), Jonathan was inspired by Robinson's use of humor and conversational speaking style. Jonathan also was the Conference Champion in Great Speeches. According to a fellow competitor who has watched Jonathan speak all season, in the Section Final round, Jonathan "was on fire ... he was clearly the best in the room that round." And the judges thought so as well, awarding Jonathan with top honors as the Section 5A Champion in Great Speeches.
Team points at the Section tournament are awarded based only on final round participants. With eight finalists earning rank-based points, Kimball earned a sixth-place team ranking out of 24 teams participating.
Congratulations to the Kimball Speechers on their phenomenal season!