WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley Community Local Schools hosted the District Five FFA Public Speaking contest on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The event brought students from seven different counties to TVS to compete in five different categories: Creed, Advanced Creed, Beginning Prepared, Advanced Prepared, and Extemporaneous.
The top two scoring students in each category will advance onto the state competition, to be held on Saturday, March. 3.
•In Creed: Andrew Millhouse from Anna and Alyana Albers from Minster tied in first place.
•In Advanced Creed: Ella Bruce from Eaton placed first and Kylee Maish from National Trail placed second.
•In Beginning Prepared: Haley Mangen from Versailes placed first and Rebecca Wright from Eaton placed second.
•In Advanced Prepared: Tyler Zimpfer from Anna placed first and Katelyn Niehaus from Eaton placed second.
•In Extemporaneous: Tessa Tyo from Versailles placed first and Andrew Brooks from Eaton placed second.
According to FFA Advisor Alison Derringer, every year District Five takes turns with hosting the competition and this year happened to be Preble County’s turn to host. Derringer offered to host the competition at TVS since it had been a few years since District Five came to West Alexandria.
“We had about 42 students from seven different districts competing. There is Creed speaking where the students memorize and recite the FFA Creed. There are two different levels of that. There is one for intro-students who are freshmen and then one for students who are Sophomore through Seniors who are first year students.
“Then there is Beginning Prepared which is typically Sophomore kids or first year Juniors that are preparing speech ahead of time and giving that speech in front of a panel of judges. There is Advanced Prepared that does the same thing for older kids.
“Then there is Extemporaneous, which they prepare a speech in 30 minutes, using only book or internet sources. Then they give that speech to a set of judges. They are judged on everything from their mannerisms, to their posture, to the speech itself and if they contain all the necessary requirements for each speech.”
She added that preparation typically begins in December or the beginning of January. The students begin writing their speeches, memorization, or working on their questions that they get at the end of each speech.
“The top two in each category will move on to the State Competition in Marysville in the beginning of March. They will give the same speech or if they are Extemporaneous they will give a new speech with a surprise topic. We appreciate the volunteers that we had and we appreciate the community support that these students get.”
From Preble County, the following students will be advanced onto State Competition: Ella Bruce, Kylee Maish, Rebecca Wright, Katelyn Niehaus, and Andrew Brooks.
After finding out her results, Maish said, “I competed because my Ag teachers like to push you to try your hardest in different things and push out of your comfort zone. I never thought I would do this, but I’m really happy that I did. To prepare I just went over the information with other people who were doing it and practicing over and over again.
“I learned to get out of my comfort zone a lot.”
Wright said, “I wanted to improve on my public speaking skills. I had just taken it as a class and I like writing essay, I wanted to challenge myself to actually present one. Everyone can type an essay, but it is much harder to say it. Competing scary, because they timed me this time and held up their fingers and it is really scary when you have to make eye-contact.
“The hardest part of competing was getting the nerves up to do it. Gesturing was also hard, because I stand pretty stiff when I’m talking and I have to work on that. I’m really happy with my results. I’ve never gotten past districts on any of the competitions, so I’m really excited and glad I got to do this.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH