For having made it through divisional and state-level competitions in speech, to progress to the upper tier of the All-State Festival, Donita Fatland and Cameron Lantry of the Colfax-Mingo High School speech team are more humble than you might expect from such high-accomplishing students.
“I understand that we did really well,” Lantry, CMHS sophomore and member of the speech team said. “The last thing I want to do is make a really big deal about it though. It was just fun getting to do radio broadcast.”
Lantry, who has been told throughout his time at CMHS that he has a ‘voice for radio’, competed in the radio broadcasting event. He didn’t come without a little practice though, as he delivers the announcements over the public address system during school.
Fatland, CMHS junior, used speech as a means to pursue her passion: music. During both of her speech events, literary program and review, Fatland geared the speech around music as the subject matter.
Hoping to focus on a major related to music when she goes to college, Fatland couldn’t imagine anything else she’d rather talk about more.
“I got into the speech team because I like to be involved in school,” Fatland said. “I really thought it was something I could excel in, and this year I chose to write about music for my programs.”
The students said that they have received a lot of support from the school and their community to make it this far.
“People in school have always been very supportive of me,” Lantry said. “I got told by a lot of people that I have a good radio voice, and Mr. Pace really motivated me to do my best.”
“For me, my grandma was always my biggest supporter,” Fatland said. “She would cheer me on with everything…when she died last year, I used one of my speeches at her funeral.”
Larry Pace, speech coach and Spanish instructor at CMHS, was pleased with the students’ performance.
“All of the kids did really well this year,” Pace said. “We have a history of sending people on to all-state, and last year we didn’t send anyone so it was good to have two this year.”
The All-State Festival will take place at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Monday, March 25. Opening ceremonies for the festival will kick off in the McLeod Center at 8:30 a.m.
Lantry plans to present at the festival, and looks forward to it. Fatland on the other hand, will not be in attendance.
“I really wish I could go,” Fatland said. “I’m going to be on the Spanish trip in Spain during the festival though. I hope I can make it my senior year if I do well enough.”
The team’s coaches, Larry Pace and Elizabeth Wood, will also be abroad on the trip to Spain and so will be unable to attend the festival.
Both of the coaches look forward to next year, expressing hope that more students will try out for the school’s speech team.