Antioch Gains New Nationals Qualifier

Senior Emily Gardner qualified for the national speech competition in Dallas, Texas, this past weekend.


Wanda Teddy

Senior Emily Gardner as she accepts her award at this weekends speech competition

The Speakquoits are headed to the Lone Star State after they competed the National Forensics League for Speech and Debate District competition at Glenbrook North High School. 

This particular competition serves to test competitors readiness for the national competition. The competition consists of 14 different sections of competitors with pieces ranging from informative speeches to dramatic speeches.

The season is throughout the entire school year and typically consists of either five or six competitions. A performance by senior Emily Gardner earned her a spot in the National Speech Competition held in Dallas, Texas, this summer.

“I honestly did not expect to do well in the competition,” Gardner said. “I thought I got 6th and ended up getting 2nd and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for Ms. Teddy’s dedication towards her competitors.”

The speech team is coached by theatre teacher Wanda Teddy. She explains her excitement for Gardner to compete at the national competition.

“As a coach it is exciting to see her qualify for nationals,” Teddy said. “She typically doesn’t allow me to see her performances because she is scared of what I will have to say but she practices in front of me everyday and she is very critical of herself. She doesn’t really know her true potential because she is a great competitor, so I’m very excited for her.”

For the competition, Gardner gave a 10-minute dramatic monologue three times in hopes of receiving good scores from the judges. At the end of the second round, there was cuts to see who would advance to the final round. Gardner was able to squeak by and advance to round three.

“My first round did not go well at all,” Gardner said. “ I stumbled a lot and forgot some of my monologue but was able to clear my mind and focus on the next two rounds of competition.”

Though the rest of the Antioch Community High School speech team are not advancing to this particular Nationals in Dallas. They’re competing at another national competition that they qualified for earlier this season that will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over Memorial Day weekend. Those competitors consist of sophomores Elijah Ruano and Molly Adams and freshman Trisha Olson.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Ruano said. “It’s cool to participate in a competition where you meet such great people and be a part of something big.”

Support the speech team national qualifiers as they prepare to compete over this upcoming summer.