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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Speech team prepares for new season

Gavinn Swann
Junior Bella Teston is looking forward to growing as a performer during the 2023-2024 Speech season.

The speech season begins in November and HHS Speech is looking to extend its reputation of excellence in fine arts.

The season starts Saturday and I am really looking forward to seeing how our performances are received by the judges,” science teacher and speech coach Tina Mondino said. “Our students put a lot of creativity and hard work (into) writing and memorizing and it’s always rewarding to see what others think.”

Team members can compete in 14 different events. For their freshman year, student events are chosen by the team coaches, Mondino and special education teacher Hannah Nance. Events are chosen based on an interview where the coaches gauge the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

First-year competitor, Noah Billman is competing in two events for his freshman season, Informative Speaking (info), and Special Occasion Speaking (SOS).

“My goal is to make it to state in both of my events, I’ve had some trouble memorizing my speeches,” Billman said.

Billman’s events are both public address events. In Info, the speaker chooses a topic and writes a speech about it with the purpose of informing the audience. The speech is prepared ahead of time and must be memorized. In SOS, the speaker tries to persuade the audience on a specific topic.

Many of the speech members are excited about traveling to new places throughout the state.

“I’m excited to be able to talk to people from other schools, and the friendly competition,” sophomore Lillian Cofie said.

Others, however, are looking forward to improving their skills and growing their relationships.

“I am looking forward to getting closer to my teammates and growing more as a performer,” said junior Bella Teston.

Preparing for the season takes hard work and dedication from the whole team according to Mondino.

“Our biggest challenge right now is overcoming nerves and memorizing, but this will come with time,” Mondino said.  “We really need a few more dedicated members in order to compete with some of the bigger schools who can have a lot more entries and chances for team points.”

Mondino is confident the nerves will wane with time and experience.

“It helps them build confidence in their speaking skills, learn to speak off the cuff, and meet new people, and really communicate with a purpose,” Mondino said. “ We have so many alumni that credit speech with their success in their  careers because communication is so important no matter what you do.”

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Gavinn Swann, Staff Writer
Gavinn Swann is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is his first year on the Purple Clarion Staff. He participates in History Club, Future Educators Club and plays trumpet in Concert Band, Jazz Band and Marching band. He cares about the arts and the finer details in life.  Gavinn also cares about education and aviation. In his spare time he is always learning, and aspires to be a commercial pilot.  “Student journalism is important to me because it helps develop your writing skills while giving your work a platform to be judged upon.” 

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