High school students find camaraderie at speech festival


Maiah Woodring/The Lion's Roar

The “Vonnie Borden Speech and Theatre Festival” featured high school students showing off their speaking skills.

The university continued more than 30 years of tradition with an annual speech festival to help high school students hone their speaking abilities and meet other students with similar interests.

The “Vonnie Borden Speech and Theatre Festival” was held on March 15. Students from six high schools attended the statewide rally.

“It was a lot more fun than what I was expecting,” shared Elizabeth Lewis, a junior at Covington High School. “I was expecting to be bored for most of it because just the timing and everything, but I actually had a lot of fun.”

For university students enrolled in the introduction to public speaking classes for honors students, the festival also served as a hands-on learning activity with an opportunity to judge high school speakers.

Crissy Waters, a sophomore biological sciences major, discussed her responsibility as a volunteer judge.

“At first, I was kind of scared because I didn’t want to mess up and give the wrong placement,” explained Waters. “I didn’t actually know what I was looking for, but once they started going, I could understand that I was supposed to feel connections through what they were doing, so it got easier as I went.”

Angelle Dell, a senior at Covington High School, has been competing in the festival for three years now, and she made it to finals this year. Camaraderie between different schools brought her back each year.

“Even though we’re competing, people still make friends and get to know each other and see how each other are doing and wish each other luck and everything,” said Dell.