Local schools earned top marks at the District Speech competition this past weekend.

The Pella High School Speech Team competed at Newton High School on February 25th and advanced 28 entries to the State Individual contest on March 11th. Eight Pella students advanced in two events.

Nine of the 14 events entered at Pella Christian High School received all divisions I’s and a spot at the State competition at Vinton-Shellsburg High School in Vinton. PCM had seven of fourteen events advance as well.

Complete listings of events and performers are listed here for Pella High School.

“We had some surprises today and some disappointments,” said Pella High School Speech Coach Suzi Jones. “District IEs come just a week after Large Group All State, so getting prepared is a challenge. Students have to work independently to be successful”.

Pella Christian students earning the I’s at the District event include: Jalayna Morgan (Poetry), Ryan Van Gilst (Poetry and Prose), Jimmy Beyer (Musical Theatre), Bethany Wilson (Prose), Alexis De Vries (Lit Program), Tyler Egesdal (Musical Theatre), Lindsay Breon (Storytelling) and Patrick Strang (Poetry). Events receiving II’s included Jackson Smith (Review and Improv), Katie Larson (Public Address), Emma Stravers (Musical Theatre) and Patrick Strang (Radio News).

Six students from Knoxville and 16 students from Pleasantville posted a one rating and earned a spot at the state speech competition in two weeks. Asa Leonard, Shannon Yocum, Tierney Heffron, Alaina Gerdes, Cidney DeWitt, and Nyan Baker from Knoxville move on to state. Josie Beier, Chloe Bender, Brooke Mead, Afton West, Chance Bender, Joe Culp, Melvin Moore, Jack Ray, Colton Stephens, Josie Houser, Melena Johnson, Avery Lauer, Jack Lauer, Tess Ray, Grace Stephens, and Conner Stone all will move on to state for Pleasantville. The state competition will take place on March 11th in Vinton. At the state competition the Knoxville and Pleasantville students will try to become outstanding performers for an opportunity to move onto the All-State competition on March 27th.

PCM Ratings from Saturday:

Jacob Cox–Improvisation–Division I
Magan VanHaaften–Storytelling–Division I
Graham Davis–Musical Theatre–Division I
Blake VanDerKamp–Acting–Division I
Megan Cox–Poetry–Division I
Jared Smith–Improvisation–Division I
Mallery Downey–Storytelling–Division I
Sidney Metzger–Musical Theatre–Division II
Sydney Burns–Musical Theatre–Division II
Carson Clark–After Dinner Speaking–Division II
Magan VanHaaften–Poetry–Division II
Payton Konek–Improvisation–Division II
Mia Rouse–After Dinner Speaking–Division II
Zoey Emmack–Acting–Division II

Melcher-Dallas State Qualifiers:

Paul Hyatt- Poetry and Prose
Sarah Hyatt- Expository Address and Acting
Madelyn Mann- Acting
Elijah Williams- Storytelling

The Iowa High School Speech Association Individual Events Contest has fourteen separate competition categories. The categories range from the very traditional, such as Interpretation of Poetry and Interpretation of Prose, to Radio Broadcasting and Improvisation.