CCHS’s Howe earns All-State honors reading his own material
By James Grob, firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles City High School junior Christian Howe learned last week that he had earned prestigious All-State honors for a poem he read at Individual State Speech Contests in Postville earlier this month.
“I was excited,” Howe said. “It was nice to have a sense of normalcy with the speech program again.”
Howe wrote the poem, entitled “When I’m a Father,” his freshman year, and earned Iowa High School Speech Association State recognition last year — but before he had the opportunity to read it, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of state speech competition.
So Howe read the piece again this year, earned State recognition again, and he aced it — earning straight Division I superior ratings from the judges and receiving the All-State nod.
Howe said the emotional poem is about a man’s hopes and dreams of having a son, after losing a father, and he said it was “definitely fun to see my creative writing come out through that.”
“It goes through how a father would react with his son, and flashes back to when his father passed away, of leukemia,” Howe said. “It was hard to find a balance, because there are a million different ways to say everything, and finding the right way to say it is definitely the hardest part.”
Charles City High School sent seven students to IHSSA Individual State Competition in Postville, and four students earned straight Division I ratings. Along with Howe, Rosie Baldus earned the rating in the Acting category for her piece entitled “Trapped in a Monologue,” Sophia Jensen earned the rating in the Poetry category for her piece entitled “Diary of Eve” by Mark Twain, and Makenna Jensen received top honors in Improvisational Acting.
Unfortunately for Howe, he won’t get the chance to perform at All-State, as traditional speech sites Northern Iowa and Iowa State are not hosting big events due to COVID.
He will still receive a medal, a certificate and an All-State banner for the school district. He’ll also be recorded in history as one of a long line of speech students from Charles City who earned the top honor.
“Christian worked very hard on this piece and read it very well at state,” said Charles City speech coach Michelle Grob. “I was impressed with his dedication, and the dedication of all the speech students this year. It was a difficult year with a lot of challenges.”