Large Group Speech usually begins in October or November and ends in February.  Rehearsals are usually held in the evenings beginning at 6:00 p.m. andending around 10:00 p.m. Students need only attend rehearsals for their specific events. District contests are generally held on a Saturday in late January. State contest is generally held on a Saturday in early to mid-February.

Individual Speech usually starts up at the beginning of 2nd semester (January). State speech is dependent upon receiving a "I" rating at Districts. If a student advances to State speech, State is generally held in early to mid-March.

Large Group State Speech

Gehlen Catholic Large Group Speech Receive 10 “I” Ratings at State – 2 Groups Selected for All State – Non Performing Groups

On Saturday, February 3rd, 11 groups comprised of 35 Gehlen Catholic High School students participated in the Iowa High School Speech Association’s (IHSSA) District State Group Speech Contest, held at Le Mars Community High School.    

Of the 11 events, 10 received a Superior (division “1”) rating.   Of those 10 groups, 8 received “I” ratings from all 3 judges (straight “I’s”).  1 group received an “Excellent” (division “II” rating):

Those receiving straight “I” ratings included the following:

  • One Act Play, “Wedding Downpour” - Claire Zubrod, Tyler Zenk, Alton, Katelyn Langel, Krista Lipp, Kayla Mayer, Malayna Hanks, Kathryn Ripley, Meredith Kellen, Aubree Nilles, Kaitlyn Willet & Melinda Zubrod.
  • Musical Theatre, “Little Women” - Kathryn Ripley & Kaleigh Ripley.
  • Varsity Reader’s Theatre, “Facebook Ruins Everything” - Sebastian Buman, Katelyn Norfolk, Carter Sitzmann, Sydney Logan, Ally Aquino, Madeline Begnoche, Malayna Hanks & Grace Kreber.
  • Group Improv:
    • Group 1 - Claire & Melinda Zubrod & Katelyn Langel.
    • Group 3 - Rachel Langel, Morgan Murphy & Patricia Sitzmann.
  • Ensemble Acting:
    • “Loons” - Katelyn Norfolk & Sebastian Buman.
    • “Keeping Place” - Kayla Mayer, Krista Lipp & Grace Kreber.
    • “The Door” - Carter Sitzmann, Jordan Larson & Elliotte Herbst.

      The groups which received a division “I” overall rating are: 

  • Choral Reading, “Everything But” - Anthony Vera, Ally Aquino, Elliotte Herbst, Meredith Kellen, Tyler Zenk, Kaitlyn Willet, Alexander Buman, Madeline Begnoche, Sydney Logan & Kaleigh Ripley
  • Freshman Reader’s Theatre, “Note to Self”- Nathan Nemmers, Landon Nilles, Traegen Kramer, Chloe Otto, Lexi Niichel, Jaime Hunt, Emily Klein, Lillian Harpenau, Patricia Sitzmann, Rachel Langel & Morgan Murphy.

    The group receiving a division “II” rating was the Group Improv of Aubree Nilles & Brooklyn Heissel. 

    Two groups were selected for All State – Non-Performing Participants on Saturday, February 17th, on the Iowa State Universit

    • “Loons” - Katelyn Norfolk & Sebastian Buman.
    • The Door” - Carter Sitzmann, Jordan Larson & Elliotte Herbst.
  • y Campus in Ames.  Those selected include the Ensemble Acting groups of: 

A humbled & ecstatic High School Speech & Drama Moderator, Mr. Mark Morehead, said, “I was just thrilled with our results at contest & having two groups nominated to the All State Festival!” 

Mr. Morehead explained the selection process for the All State Speech Festival.  He said, “Groups must be nominated by at least 2 judges to be considered for the festival.  Then it becomes a point system to decide who gets to perform at the festival. Only a select number of the groups earning straight “I’s” are taken from each category & district to make up the All State performance day.  At All State, the selected groups perform for a critic who is considered to be an expert in their field.  At the end of the day, each critic awards a banner to the one performance they believe was top performance of the day.”  Mr. Morehead then pointed to the banners hanging of past critic’s choice winners hanging in the Marvin Langel Memorial Gym from past years.)

“To have groups perform or even nominated is truly the icing on the cake!” exclaimed Mr. Morehead.  Mr. Morehead share the students nominated for the All State Festival are very excited & look forward to attending the event.  Both Mr. Morehead & the students feel it is a great accomplishment to be chosen for the All State Festival.  The All State Large Group it is a great accomplishment to be chosen for the festival. 

Mr. Morehead concluded, “A special thanks is extended to the Gehlen Catholic Fine Arts Boosters, school, parents & community for their support once again this year!” 

Large Group Speech


On Saturday, March 10th, Gehlen Catholic’s High School Speech team competed at the Iowa High School Speech Association’s State Individual Speech Contest.  The contest was held at Kuemper Catholic School in Carroll. 

5 Gehlen Catholic high school students competed in 5 events.  

Those receiving an “I” (Superior) rating included:

  • Senior, Kathryn Ripley – Musical Theatre – overall “I” rating; &
  • Senior, Carter Sitzmann (LeMars) – Musical Theatre – straight “I’s” rating.


    Those receiving an “II” (Excellent) rating included:

  • Senior, Krista Lipp (LeMars) – Prose;
  • Sophomore, Kaleigh Ripley (LeMars) – Prose; &
  • Freshman, Chloe Otto (Hospers) – Acting.


Gehlen Catholic High School Speech & Drama Moderator, Mr. Mark Morehead (Merrill), noted all of the speech students showed growth in their own self & confidence.  He added, “State Individual Speech Contest will make them all better students & communicators.”  Mr. Morehead knows Carter & Kathryn’s experiences in high school speech & drama will be of tremendous benefit during their involvement in their respective college theatre departments.  He & the students thanked the Gehlen Catholic Fine Arts Boosters for their support this year.  

State Individual Speech


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2023 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.