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Decorah high school students share their thoughts on earning banners for large group speech

Posted: Fri, Mar 3, 2017 11:08 AM
Speech coach Molly Holkesvik shares with the audience, "It takes a village to make these films possible."

On Thursday night, banners were presented to the two large group speech teams at Decorah High School. The two groups were selected as banner recipients at this year's all state festival: a television news broadcast entitled "FOCUS: Loss of Innocence/Society's Gain" and a short film entitled "Pressure."

Television news decided to use the Dateline TV show format in their production. They started with fifteen stories, narrowed it down to ten, then five and then chose three stories to focus on. It was a process of writing script, videoing the segment, lots of editing, and repeating that process all over again.

Kasey Thompson and Kara Hooper enjoyed doing research for their television news project. "We usually do funny stories, so it was interesting doing serious subjects this time," said Hooper.

Alex Nesset played the lead in the short film "Pressure." Nesset said the most difficult aspect of filming was being in a swimming pool. She was in the pool three different days for a couple hours at a time, and the chlorine was really bothering her eyes by the final day.

Nick Bockman said being on a speech team is a similar process to being on a sports team. "We are together two to three months with lots of practice, going to All State is like post season play offs."

Jenna Galligan said, "The best part about being in speech is being able to step into another world with some really talented people. Whether I'm watching someone else take on an interesting character or getting to act in a production myself, I always enjoy the aspect of creating settings and characters completely outside of my world. There are so many talented kids in speech who bring the whole thing to life, and you can't help but feel like you're taking a little journey with them in a world they just created in front of you. It's one of my favorite parts of the year."

Galligan has won state with the girls' cross country team and says, "whether it's a sport or speech contest the "championship feeling" is the same. So much work goes into both athletics and the arts, it's incredibly rewarding to see that hard work and dedication pay off both in titles and the immense support and pride of parents, coaches, teammates, and the community."

Speech coach Molly Holkesvik said, "Technology is great and it can get in the way. It was hard filming underwater and trying to make it look real (for the short film). We filmed at the courthouse for tv news and the sound wasn't the way we wanted, so we had to do voice overs."  Holkesvik thanked family members, many community members and businesses for their help in making these projects saying, "It takes a whole village to make these films possible."

Click on links below to view the films. TV Focus Pressure

Superintendent Mike Haluska praises both groups for their accomplishments
Television news group from left to right: Parker Grinna, Molly Holkesvik, Marissa Foels, Chance Elton, Kasey Thompson, Kara Hooper, Max Sparrow, Devin Brevig, Madelyn Jermier, Jacob Roher, Maria Lea, Paul Strand, Anne Meirick and Isaac Fish. Not pictured: Josephine Berlage
Short film group from left to right: Molly Holkesvik, Jenna Galligan, Brynne Valkosky, Maddie Fahey, Alex Nesset, Kaitlyn Rooney, Avery Duggar, Nick Bockman, Augusta Casterton, Riley Monteith, Claudia Cowie, Marissa Weis and Caroline Knox-Reid. Not pictured: Nathaniel Cowie, Vita Domnenko and Christopher Miculinich