Students show speaking skills at state forensics finals

These City High School students competed in the state forensics competition at Oakland Community College, winning two individual trophies and finishing seventh overall in their category.

City High/Middle School’s extensive speech and debate program made a strong showing this spring, with 14 students competing in regional competition and 11 in the state forensics tournament. Six of those 11 advanced to the state semifinal round, and two came home with trophies from the event at Oakland Community College.

Junior Alex Van Kuiken finished fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking, where students were given 30 minutes to prepare a seven-minute speech on a current political topic; and junior Matt Neils finished fourth in Impromptu Speaking, in which students are given six minutes to think and then speak about a prompt.

State semifinalists were junior Charlie McGrath, Broadcasting; sophomore Jack Norman, Impromptu; junior Riley Wilson, Extemporaneous Speaking; and sophomore Rose Gerson, Storytelling. City finished seventh overall in the C/D category.

Leading up to the state event, 16 City students took part in competitive events this spring, earning five team trophies and 26 individual trophies. About 10 percent of the students at City High/Middle participate in one or more of the speech and debate programs. William Harris is coach of the speech and debate programs.

Four City students qualified to compete at the national tournament, to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 17-22.


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Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.


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