Blue Jays compete at Regional Speech meet

Written by Katie Harwood (Special to the Stanley Gazette)

This year’s Regional Speech Tournament took place this past Saturday at Trinity Christian School in Williston.  The Stanley-Powers Lake team featured 18 students from Stanley and 1 from Powers Lake School.  The team’s head coach Katie Harwood coaches the students in Stanley, and assistant coach Robert Anderson coaches those from Powers Lake.  The regional tournament, as well as other previous invitationals, is open to students in grades 7-12, and unlike other extracurriculars, features one Varsity level team.

In the world of competitive speaking, North Dakota features 14 different events for students to compete in.  It is not expected a student participate in more than 2 or 3 events (I keep many first timers to just 1, except for regionals), however many of my students have browsed through several to find one that fits them best.  There are 14 different events to cater to a wide variety of interests—there are humorous and serious pieces, taken from books, plays, even movies.  There are single person events and duos.  There are speeches you make up on the spot, Impromptu.  There’s debate-style events, Extemp Speaking and Speech to Persuade.  Each event teaches the young competitor the art of public speaking.

The regional tournament features 10 schools in our region, competitors looking to qualify for the state Speech competition.  Stanley-Powers Lake will be sending 3 students, Travis Dean, Keith Braddock, and Remington Nohr to the state speech competition in Mandan on April 29th.  All three have been to state before, with Travis Dean placing 5th in Extemp Speaking at last year’s state competition.

The following students also received medals and placements at the regional tournament:

Sidney Woodhouse, Dramatic Interp (8th place)

Kaylee Wilson, Dramatic Interp (6th place)

Travis Dean, Extemporaneous Speech (1st place) and Speech to Inform (4th place)

Malachi Braddock, Impromptu (8th place)

Trapper Simmers, Impromptu (6th place)

Keith Braddock, Speech to Entertain (4th place)

Olyviah Seil, Radio Broadcasting (7th place)

Olyviah Seil and Melanie Herrera, Serious Duo (7th place)

Noah Swegarden, Radio Broadcasting (6th place)

Kacey Clark, Poetry (7th place)

Mariah Francis, Serious Prose (7th place)

Chase Huelle, Speech to Persuade (3rd place)

Jace Ruud and Taylor Ranum, Humorous Duo (6th place)

Jace Ruud, Humorous Interp (5th place)

Keith Braddock and Remington Nohr, Humorous Duo (1st place)

Our team this year features many young students, with only one senior.  And with many more coming up through the 5th and 6th grade, the team will continue to grow with more success in public speaking to come.

Editor’s note *Harwood was named Regional Speech Adviser of the Year. She is currently serving as a music instructor in the Stanley School District, as well as the Speech Adviser.

– Ian Grande is the Editor of the Stanley Gazette. If you have any comments or concerns please email

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