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West Hancock HS students earn top ratings at State Large-Group Speech

West Hancock HS students earn top ratings at State Large-Group Speech

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West Hancock Large Group Speech Participants

West Hancock students participated in State Large Group Speech contest on Feb. 6 at West Hancock High School with all West Hancock groups receiving I ratings. Shown in front, from left, Sydney Tue, Kamryn Eckels, Aileen Lechuga, Sydney Myers, and Isabelle Rosin. In back, from left, Paige Kudej, Kennedy Kelly, Shayna Ostercamp, Chance Eden, Morgan Francis, Corrina King, and Grace Rosin. West Hancock Head Speech Coach is Robin Kudej. 

Students from West Hancock High School proved they know how to speak well.

All four groups from the high school received I ratings in the State Large-Group Speech competition held Feb. 6 at West Hancock High School. 

Students must receive an I rating at the district contest to advance to state. There is also the opportunity for them to earn an All-State nomination. West Hancock had four groups compete at District Large-Group Speech on Jan. 23, with all of those groups advancing to state. The groups competed in Choral Reading, Radio #1, Radio #2, and Reader's Theater.

West Hancock Head Speech Coach Robin Kudej said that due to COVID-19, the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) provided schools with several choices on how they could participate at the contest. 

"For example, this could include in-person contests with just your own students, having a few other schools join them, or even a virtual option that could include both synchronous or asynchronous performances," said Kudej. "The IHSSA also extended the dates for when contests can be held, giving schools flexibility with quarantines and other issues. The IHSSA is doing phenomenal work and pivoting when needed in order to have students from all across Iowa perform."

West Hancock invited Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Belmond-Klemme, and Osage to join its state contest in order to relieve some of the pressure of hiring judges and organizing an in-house state contest. This helped to provide more normalcy to the contest day, even when the schools were scheduled in pods and cohorts.

The West Hancock state speech groups participated in Choral Reading- How I Got My Superpowers, Radio- The Golden Hour, Radio - Koffee with Ken, and Reader's Theater - Music Maybe.

The season for this extra-curricular activity starts in the fall and continues through March. Large-Group speech contests are held first and individual contests will be held later in the speech season.

Rob Hillesland is community editor for the Summit-Tribune. He can be reached at 641-421-0534, or by email at


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