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Woodard achieves all-state speech status in two events for CCHS

  • Charles City’s Lily Woodard qualified for the Iowa All-State Individual Speech Festival in two events. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Charles City’s Lily Woodard qualified for the Iowa All-State Individual Speech Festival in two events. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob,

When she first drew the cards, Charles City High School’s Lily Woodard was a little bit nervous.

Once she put her Improvisational Acting performance together at Iowa State Individual Speech Contests, however, it all went smoothly.

“I thought it went pretty well, considering,” Woodard said.

Indeed, Woodard’s performance in front of the judges at Waldorf College in Forest City went well enough to earn her a performance slot at the Iowa All-State Individual Speech Festival, which will be March 25 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

Improv was one of two events in which Woodard earned elite all-state recognition. Poetry was the other. This is the second straight year Woodard has qualified for all-state as an individual.

“Lily here is the queen of speech this year,” said CCHS speech director Mike Lembke. “She got three all-state medals, if you include the one she received in large group speech as well.”

In the Improv event, the students draw for characters and situations, and then must perform them as part of the speech. Woodard drew a popsicle and a preschool teacher — and the situation was “solving a hard math problem.”

“I turned it into the preschool teacher trying to solve the math problem, and in the loneliness of trying to solve it, the popsicle became sentient and began to help,” Woodard said.

Overall, five Charles City speech students received straight Division I ratings in seven events at the state contests in Forest City. Lily and her sister, Emily Woodard, both received the highest ranking in two events, while Ella Rogstad, MaKenna Jensen and Mariah McKenzie each received the highest ranking in one event.

Emily Woodard received straight Division I rankings in both the Poetry and Acting categories,  Ella Rogstad in After Dinner Speaking, MaKenna Jensen in Prose and Mariah McKenzie in Improv.

Receiving split Division I rankings for Charles City were Ruby Peterson in Acting and Mariah Mckenzie in Radio News. Peterson received a Division II ranking in Solo Musical Theatre and Rosie Baldus earned a Division II ranking in Improv.

“I’m very happy,” said Lembke. “Overall we had nine out of 11 get straight ones.”

Two Nashua-Plainfield students also earned all-state recognition. Tanner Striegel was selected to perform at all-state in the Solo Musical Theatre category, while Drew Moine received the same honor in the Prose category.

For her all-state qualifying Poetry piece at state speech, Woodard read three related children’s poems — “Sick,” by Shel Silverstein, “Strict” by Michael Rosen and another poem by an anonymous author.

“It went really well. The judges were dying laughing the whole time,” Woodard said. “They loved it.”

Woodard said she felt good about the accomplishment.

“Last year was my first year doing speech altogether, and after the awesomeness and surprise of my sister and I both making all-star last year, I very much realized that I could actually do something,” Woodard said. “To make it this year in individual improv again, it really showed me that I think I have something going for me right now.”