Valentine’s Day Speaker Spotlights 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day, Speech Team! On this week’s Fireside Chat we asked students to nominate teammates for Speaker Spotlight and we received several GREAT responses! We’ve pasted them below (without author names). If you’d like to nominate someone, send an e-mail to Alex by the end of the day.

Ethan Williams. I think that Ethan would be an excellent choice for speaker spotlight. He’s always the first to celebrate when a fellow teammate does well, even when he does better. He cares about everyone and has been working hard and doing well.

Victoria Pommalath. I would like to nominate Victoria for Speaker Spotlight this week. Not only is she the only Drama novice, but she is perhaps the most dedicated in the category. She is one of few who consistently attends category practices, always runs her piece, and welcomes any and all feedback! In addition, when we struggled to have category practices, or in addition to a weekly category practice, she would communicate with me so that we could organize a time to meet so she could run her piece. I LOVE going to her final rounds when I have the opportunity, because I can clearly see her growth every week… not only in her piece, but also her self-confidence. I love getting to work with her, and I am excited to see where the season takes her!

Jason Chang. Jason has shown extreme dedication and commitment to the team and his category. He’s shown a lot of improvement and has worked extremely hard this season. He is constantly striving to be better in his oratory. He always comes to category practice ready to work and perform.

Matthew Bi. Matthew has worked very hard in Info this season. He really puts his 100% effort into his VAs and overall work in the category. It really has paid off this season when he won an apple at Apple Valley a few weeks ago. It is very impressive to see the work he puts in for his category.

Alec Liu. Alec has been putting in a lot of effort into Great Speeches this year. He is always rehearsing his speech in the halls at tournaments and is constantly striving to get better. His season performance reflects his hard work and I am so impressed to see the work he has put in.

Adam Garrity. Adam has always made an effort to seek help whenever needed and is very driven. To tag along to that, whenever he does get the help he is very thankful and appreciative. He is a good guy who makes sure nobody on the team feels excluded and strives to be friends with everybody. For those reasons and then some, I believe Adam should be the spotlight speaker.”

Erik Rasmussen. Even though I’m not in the same category as Erik, I’ve seen him and he works incredibly hard on his piece. (For example, any critiques that he gets, he will apply it to his piece and make the changes as quickly as he can to improve himself as a speaker.) He’s also very passionate about his piece which comes through very clearly each time he delivers it. He’s constantly making himself better and striving to be a better speaker.

Alec Liu. Alec works incredibly hard on his great speeches piece. He’s very dedicated to his category, and his team in general. (To give an example of being dedicated to his team he watched my entire final round and was extremely supportive of me.) He does a lot of work behind the scenes and he continues to push himself and challenge himself outside of the box in order to improve himself as a speaker.

Arsema Belai. She is an incredibly devoted category leader. She is always on top of the game before the week even begins. She will make meetings with us, especially if we ever have a conflict with category practice. She is always willing to guide you if you are ever just confused or lost. She has such wonderful ideas for visuals, and will always spend time trying to help you make them or to make FedEx runs. She is a wonderful leader 🙂

Meghan Horan. She is so determined and motivated regardless of the results. Even when she doesn’t always break or do as well she wants to, she always rebounds and gives it her all the next week! Even though she has only done interp, and is not always confident regarding PA categories, she is always willing to watch over my speech and give me critiques on how to loosen up and get into character. She was such an important support during some of the traveling tourneys, and she will do whatever she can to make sure you are okay and confident! As this is my first year in Interp, she is one of the individuals who is always there to push me to my limit and support me through everything.

Natalie Engh. She is so dedicated to storytelling and she always continues to work harder and keep pushing to strive for her best. She is an incredible actor and an amazing storyteller. I have noticed how she has always stayed after school to help Shirley or Dydney with their stories if they are ever not feeling the most confident. She is such a cutie who will always be there to make your day.

Alexa Sandberg. Alexa is one of the most amazing actresses I have ever met. she is so talented and continues to dedicate so much time into her piece. She is always ready to improve and responds very positively to feedback. You can always count on her for an honest critique, and no matter what the situation is, she is able to brighten the mood. Her personality is so warm and beautiful, and she has a way of making you feel so much better if you are anxious about a tournament or disappointed with your results.

Holly Restad. Holly continues to amaze me every tournament, every category practice, every time she delivers her speech. She has such a confident persona and she has such a calm and soothing vibe, that always makes her appear very put together and confident. Although she doubts her abilities at times, especially in her second category, she still gives it her all, and that does take her far– especially, as seen, at Marshall. She is always willing to listen to ANYONE’S piece and will always give you honest and constructive feedback, she is capable of more than she knows.

McCrossen Schiller. McCrossen is incredibly devoted to speech. He is very motivated and pours all his time and energy into perfecting his piece, but even more than that, he will do everything possible to help you improve. McCrossen has spent many days after school looking over various novices speeches- PA or interp, and he is constantly asking me if i need help with improving my piece!

Maggie Barringer. Maggie is an incredible category leader! Though she has a lot on her plate, she always prioritizes speech and poi/poetry as a category. She is incredibly patient, and so kind (even when you totally screw up your piece in front of her, she still has some kind things to say). Entering into an interp category, I was (still am) incredibly nervous and always on edge regarding branching out of my comfort zone, but she is always so reassuring, approachable, and motivating.

Gabby Franus. She is amazing. I think that about sums it all up 🙂

Elizabeth Avery. Elizabeth is one of the kindest people I have ever met, and one of the most wholesome individuals I have ever encountered. She is sweet beyond adjectives, mature beyond explanation, and talented beyond words. She is such a beautiful individual, inside and out. She is so dedicated to speech, and I personally aspire to be more like her, because she is so confident yet so humble in all her accomplishments. She never fails to make you feel worthy and accomplished, and she always will take the time out to make you feel incredibly special.


Aashna Ray. Aashna exemplifies everything good about the ERHS speech team. She is a devoted speaker, constantly challenging herself in both her categories (including joining interp, something she’s never done before)! In addition to her work ethic as a speaker, Aashna is the kindest person one will ever meet. Her positivity, care packages, and sweet poems and messages for her teammates cannot be replaced. We love you Aashna!

Natalie Engh. I would like to nominate Natalie because she is hardworking, dedicated, and passionate about both of her categories. She is super upbeat all the time and is really supportive of her peers. She is an incredible speaker and is amazing with everything she does. Thanks, Nat for being fantabulous!!!!