Speech team finds success in 2022 season

The speech team at ALHS has been successful at making All-State for many years, and the 2022 school year is no exception. After competing in many different competitions and putting in months of hard work, a group of students including sophomore Sterling Angeroth, were victorious in their longing to qualify for All-State with a reader’s theater piece.

Despite her success in the program, Angeroth was initially hesitant to join as she wasn’t experienced with speaking in front of large crowds.

“I just really wanted to have a new experience,” she said. “I wasn’t really comfortable with public speaking but I think I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.”

After working with head coach Dirk Waller and new assistant coach, Niki Aldrich, Angeroth was able to overcome those hesitations and make it to All-State in groups as well as individuals.

Waller and Aldrich worked diligently together to help the participating students prepare for competition. When in person meets were not possible, they hosted Zoom meetings to give advice and suggestions to help the members of the program.

“Just giving us the feedback that we needed, even if it was tough to hear, it was always very constructive and good to know,” Angeroth said.

Aldrich, who is new to ALHS this year, has been teaching for nine years and has participated in this program for even longer. During her time in high school, she competed in speech, later going on to judge competitions as well as donating her time as a volunteer coach.

Even with prior experience, it can be hard stepping into a new role in a new environment.

“A lot of times, students will look for guidance on what piece they should do or what category they should do and that’s hard when you don’t have prior experience working with the students,” Aldrich said.

Sophomore Emily Newby was among the other participants in Angeroth’s reader’s theater piece. Newby initially joined speech after hearing of both her parents’ success in the program during their time in high school but found a creative outlet to put her energy into.

“It’s a really good environment and a nice way to express yourself,” she said. “You get to meet a lot of nice people and get to experiment in a lot of different categories, different structures, and styles.”