Schoolís Speech and Debate team recognized a spectacular year of
achievements at its annual year end awards night. This year the team
celebrated team championships in both categories of Speech and Debate; a
feat that it had not accomplished since 2007.
The evening started
with three scholarship awards. The Christine Pritchard Memorial Scholarship,
commemorating the life of a former coach, was awarded to Natalie Beglin. The
award recognizes excellence in Speech and Debate along with a real
contribution to theatre and the arts.
Tom and Dianna
Gearin Family started the Gearin Excellence in Debate Scholarship six yearís
ago to give back to a program that they felt gave so much to their children,
Kira and Tom. This yearís recipient was Hayden Hodge.
The Vincent Family
Team award was a new scholarship this year, given by Jim and Lori Vincent
and designed to recognize a senior who competes at a high level and also
goes the extra mile in helping out the team. Karly Carden was the inaugural
Winners were then
named in a number of categories that increased in significance as the
evening progressed. Each award was named after a former coach or major
contributor to the programís success. The first level was the Doug Pishkur
Difference Makers award, typically given to first year members. This yearís
winners were Sid Augustyn, Dustin Bucher, Anekah Fish, Ben Hoham, Indigo
Loving, Devin Michael, Madison Simms, Steven Skelton, Rebecca White, Max
Winski, Sofia Winski, Madison Wrigley, and Cassandra Wuethele.
The next awards
were the Catherine Keaneís Future Cornerstones; a category given to some
first year students who experience exceptional success as well as second
year members that have already shown themselves as key building blocks. This
yearís winners were Elli Didonna, Aaron Drew, Leaha Estes, Amber Johnson,
Emily Krygoske, Azzez Lakhani, Anna Leady, Zachary Mullins, Skylar Noschese,
AJ Stirling, Chloe Thomas, and Grace Whah.
The Most Improved
award is named after Glen Percifield, the original director of the now 49
year old program. This year Anjali Dziarski, Madi Ghoreshi, Sydney Ghoreshi,
Keagan Wong, and Kaylinn Woolever, were all winners of this honor.
The Barb Funke
Significant Contributors award recognizes the impact that individuals have
both inside and outside of the competitive realm. Megan Daye, Creighton
Gaff, Nathan Herr, Johny Mario, Grace Polka, Joshua Sensibaugh, Bailey
Valtierra, Nia Weems, and Eli Winski all took home this award.
Carol Biel, who
along with Funke is an IHSFA Hall of Fame member, had the Rising Leader
award named in her honor. This category recognizes returning students who
have already shown the capacity for leadership on the team. Ryan Day, Paige
Donovan, Camma Duhamell, Bryn Jackson, Paul Petro, Allen Smith, Logan
Summers, Natalia Wadowski, and Connor Wantuch were all recognized.
Another Hall of
Famer, James Cavalloís name adorns the Outstanding Performers award. This
group was made up of third and fourth year students who have shown
exceptional performance in their events. Katelyn Balakir, Katrina Balon,
Megan Bernth, Keerat Basra, Natalie Beglin, Hannah Geiss, Josh Hogan, Kevin
Jugovic, Nathaniel Scheerer, Angel Smith, and James Van Drie all proved
deserving of the honor.
Four students were
honored with the award named after one of Chestertonís National Hall of Fame
former coaches, Joe Wycoff. Winning Outstanding Program Contribution honors
were seniors Karly Carden, Noelle Friel, Isabella Portugal, and Mark Wilcox.
Lastly the award
for Most Valuable in Program is named after Chesterton Attorney Michael
Harris, who originally approached the school board to start the program.
This yearís MVP was senior Hayden Hodge, a student who has gone above and
beyond in terms of commitment, leadership, and success.
The team also
recognized the ten students headed this Memorial Day weekend to Louisville
for the NCFL Grand National Tournament and the twenty-six students that have
qualified for the NSDA National Tournament in Birmingham this summer.
were recognized for progress through the National Forensic League Honor
Society. Through competition and service students earn and accumulate
points. Emily Krygoske accumulated more points (263) than any other
freshman, Allen Smith (644) was the highest sophomore. Josh Hogan paces the
junior class with 1,407 points while Hayden Hodge is tops of the senior
class with 1,683 points.
The Speech and
Debate team is coached by teachers Chris Lowery, Josh Coots, Becky Uheling,
former teacher Robert Kelly, former students Eric Shaefer, Kayla Fleming,
and Dakota McCoy, as well as volunteers Kaley Brown and Sam Lee.