Two groups of performers from Pella (Iowa) Christian High School’s large group speech team were selected to perform at the All-State Speech Festival mid February. The school’s Readers Theater, with a performance of “The Long View,” and its One Act troupe’s portrayal of “Elephant Graveyard” earned the distinction of “Outstanding Performers” at a state competition Feb. 5. That came with an invitation to the festival at Iowa State University in Ames on Feb. 19. Twenty-one students from grades nine to 12 comprised the two groups. This is the highest honor that the speech program of Pella Christian has ever received.
Marlo Van Persuem, director of theater at the school and an instructor in English, theater, and speech who works with the large group speech team said, “We are honored to be nominated for the All-State Speech and to be given the chance to perform at the All-State level. We thank God for the many talents he has given us.”
Trent Van Gilst, 17, is a member of First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and has been part of Pella Christian’s speech program throughout high school. “In the past four years, I have learned so much and have learned how important it is to be able to communicate effectively. Miscommunication is what leads to wars and conflict,” Van Gilst said. He said he and his fellow competitors “are the future communicators of our world, and this festival is proof of that. There is such a wide variety of talent there, and it is just cool to see so many students and their willingness to lead.”