June 24, 2017

Vermont State Champs: HHS Speech Team


Vermont State Champs: HHS Speech Team

March 9, 2016- James Dixon, Vermont Debate & Forensics League [VDFL] President for Debate, has won state titles before, but those wins were often with seasoned, senior debaters who had been practicing for years: this title delighted and surprised the entire team, ranging from sophomores to seniors, and many first time participants. I asked Mr. Dixon how this Team-All-Around award is different from the previously won Debate titles: “To me, it’s better because everybody pulled their own weight.”

This camaraderie could be observed as I talked to a few of the students and each chirped happily, complimenting each other’s performances. One apparent standout lauded by peers was Clara Posner’s Drama presentation of Barbara Park’s, Mick Harte Was Here. Mateo Ellerson’s challenge in the Extemporaneous event was to take an on-site assigned topic relating to current issues, research it for thirty minutes, prepare and deliver a six minute speech using index cards. David York’s Impromptu category required him to write and present an eight minute speech.

I got the opportunity to speak to Lucy Danger about her Original Oratory event. Her task was to choose a controversial topic and write and deliver a persuasive speech. Her topic? The Underrepresentation (and misrepresentation) of Minorities in Media (a prophetess, perhaps, of the #OscarsSoWhite conversation?). I asked Lucy what she likes about the Speech Team and the skills she’s learning through these experiences: “It prepares me well for class presentations and speaking my thoughts… for college projects. As a journalist and social activist, speaking clearly and eloquently helps people take me more seriously, especially as a teenager.”

Their efforts were covered in two Valley News Articles:

http://www.vnews.com/lifetimes/21022826-95/school-notes-hartford-high-team-wins-vermont-speech-title

http://www.vnews.com/opinion/21203314-95/editorial-champions-of-speech-at-hartford-high

Congrats, Team!

Here’s a pic of the champs, their graduating class year, and their event:



Back row: George Spearing, ‘16, Radio; Ali Davis, ‘18, Poetry Recitation; David York, ‘17, Impromptu; Mateo Ellerson, ‘16, Extemporaneous; James Dixon, Coach

Front row: Lucy Danger, ‘17, Original Oratory; Clara Posner, ‘18, Drama

-Alexis Nelson,  nelsona@hartfordschools.net