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North Scott Slams All-State Speech!

Updated: Apr 10

Last Monday, March 25th, the IHSSA All-State Competition for Individual Speech was held at the University of Northern Iowa, drawing high school students from across the state to showcase their public speaking and performance skills. This annual event serves as the culmination of the endless hours students have dedicated to perfecting their individual performances. Multiple students from North Scott performed at this past all-state competition, including Amber Bauswell, Grace Gephart, Kaitlyn Knepper, and Riley Johnson. 

Kaitlyn Knepper, Reviewing: Folklore, The Story of James, Betty, and Augustine. 

Folklore, the renowned 2020 indie-folk album by American singer-songwriter Described by Knepper as “a bridge between songwriting and storytelling through the lens of originality and impact,”

Knepper focuses on the narrative aspect of the album throughout her review, delving into the hidden story of James, Betty, and Augustine. She takes the listener on a journey through the album, introducing each character as well as their respective song. Knepper delves into the lyrics of Cardigan, Betty, and August, bringing the listener along as she delves fully into Folklore’s narrative. 

She highlights how, despite criticism, Taylor Swift is a magnificent songwriter. She not only displays songs with expert mixing and atmospheric tone, but she balances that while including an entire narrative within the album. Overall, Kaitlyn Knepper’s review brings Folklore to the spotlight, highlighting the true intricacies of Swift’s writing. 

Amber Bauswell, Storytelling: Knuffle Bunny 

 The IHSSA describes the storytelling category of speech as “the art of sharing a narrative with a listener." Storytelling is a memorized speech that can be picked from either an original or published work. Amber Bauswell presents the story of Knuffle Bunny, in which a young girl gets separated from her beloved stuffed rabbit, Knuffle Bunny, at the laundromat. Bauswell brings the listener into the world of Knuffle Bunny as the young girl faces the turmoil following the loss of her beloved rabbit, as well as the inevitable solution when she and Knuffle Bunny are reunited. Bauswell conveys this narrative through stunning charisma and energy, fully honing the attention of every audience member.

Grace Gephart, Expository Address: The Existence of White Holes

An expository address is an original, informative speech that is commonly enhanced through the use of audio and/or visual aids. At All-State, Grace Gephart presented an expository address on the existence of white holes. 

The majority of the population holds general knowledge about the existence of black holes—those cosmic forces that suck outside forces into them. But we are less knowledgeable on the topic of white holes because the existence of white holes is not set in stone. Within her expository, Gephart educates the crowd on what exactly black holes are, as well as how they correlate to the theoretical existence of white holes. Gephart presents her address with the utmost poise and professionalism, yet she remains engaging. She makes a topic such as white holes accessible to those who have minimal knowledge of astrophysics. All while entertaining and captivating the audience. 

Riley Johnson, Original Oratory: The Lost Identity of Motherhood

The IHSSA describes the original oratory category as an original speech written by the speaker that must be either inspirational or persuasive, similar to a Ted talk. Johnson presented an original oratory exploring the relationship between motherhood and identity and how mothers often lose their identity through motherhood due to the pressure that society puts on them.


As the 2024 Speech season comes to an end, I cannot recommend your participation in Speech enough. There is truly an event for everyone in Speech; from musical theater to public address, the categories are nothing short of diverse. Plus, it’s not just about the competition—it’s about finding your voice, the confidence to perform in front of others, and, as cheesy as it sounds, building new friendships. Because of this, I highly encourage you to consider participating in Speech in the 2024–2025 school year! 

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Zoe Wilson
Zoe Wilson

This is such a good representation of the North Scott Speech Team and what it has to offer!!

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