Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
When college admissions boards list "Qualities Incoming Freshmen Should Have," it's possible that Kelsey Vigoren is exactly the prospective student they have in mind. She maintains a high grade-point-average, participates in sports, and is active in her community. One thing that might garner a second, closer look is her fine arts participation. Kelsey sings in the choir, plays percussion in band, played the lead role in KCP's "Annie" in 2003, and Saturday, April 18, will represent Kimball Area High School in the MSHSL State Speech Tournament. You see, colleges aren't only looking at GPAs, athletic achievement, and volunteering. Admissions boards know that students who are involved in Fine Arts often have higher self-esteems and better long-term achievement indicators than students who don't participate in music, theater, visual, or communication arts. They are looking for students with skills inherent in arts education, such as learning artistic modes of problem solving, communicating in a variety of modes, and adapting to and respecting others' ways of thinking and expressing themselves. As a speech competitor, Kelsey embodies these skills each time she participates. In her category, Original Oratory, Kelsey developed a concept for her speech, "The Abolition of the Penny," researched, and wrote a persuasive argument about why the United States should stop minting the one-cent coin. One important element in persuasive writing is addressing concerns of those who might oppose your ideas; Kelsey addresses these issues in her speech as well. But persuasion doesn't end with writing. Kelsey worked all season on the communication of her ideas, from vocal delivery to non-verbal gestures to dressing to make a good first impression. In writing and delivery, she strives to appeal to both logic and humor, keeping in mind the attention and response of her target audience. And finally, she analyzes criticism from her judges and coaches, discerning good criticism from poor, and using it to improve her performance. Kelsey's skills earned her a lot of recognition this season, winning medals and ribbons at every meet in which she spoke, and earning three Champion, including Central Minnesota Conference Champion. She placed third in Subsections, and her second-place win at Section 5A competition advances her to the state tournament. Sauk Rapids coach Molly Olson praised Kelsey's speaking skills, stating "She is such a lovely speaker, I just wanted to sit back and listen to her," while BBE assistant coach Lucy Lloyd predicted early in the season Kelsey's trip to the state tournament. Kelsey will be accompanied by several teammates who placed as State Alternates, including Abby Zoller, First Alternate, Original Oratory; Tyler Dockery, First Alternate, Extemporaneous Reading; Kenzie Traurig, Second Alternate, Great Speeches; and Chelsey Maus, Third Alternate, Extemporaneous Reading. Teammates Jenifer Gilpatrick, Humorous, and Savannah Tuthill, Discussion also represented Kimball in Section 5A Finals. These awesome verbal warriors will be rallied with a pep fest Friday, April 17, and a fire truck escort as they leave for state. Congratulations to Kelsey and the Kimball Speech Team on a great season!