March 17, 2018 Achievements

Sioux City East receives 20 all-state speech nominations

Senior Anthony Anderson broke into individual speech season this year with a proverbial bang. Or, make that bangs, plural, with a pair of all-state berths in his first individual speech season. Anderson earned honors in storytelling and poetry.

“I got a story from Mrs. Bryce and then wrote my own story with my buddy Nate Petrik,” said Anderson, one of the leaders on the school’s choral reading effort. “We took the idea of someone being turned into a chicken and going on a date, as seventh-graders,” he said.

Anderson’s poetry effort was on the other side of the humorous/serious spectrum. He read aloud two poems that focused on church bombings in an Alabama church.

Anderson said he plans to one day major in criminal justice and has hopes of becoming a private investigator.

Denisse Camarena, a junior, ran her all-state poetry streak to three years. This season marked the first time she’s competed in the category by using a poem she wrote. It’s entitled “Die(ary),” and follows a girl who experiences the death of her mother.

“I personify death in the poem and it eventually drives her (the main character) to insanity,” she said.

Camarena’s other all-state nod came in literary program, a entry whereupon she read “A Colorful Story for a Colorful Life,” a more light-hearted approach that still contained a deeper meaning, that of working together despite outward appearances. The piece was based on the poem, “The Cran Wars.”

Camarena, who noted that speech and golf remain her favorite high school extracurricular activities, plans to study animal ecology at Iowa State University, beginning in 2019. Before then, of course, she’ll be dialed in on earning a fourth all-state nomination in poetry.

“I heard about speech as a freshman and I was the only freshman on the speech team that year,” she said. “And then I ended up being the only freshman in Iowa double-nominated for all-state.”

With this pair of nominations, Camarena’s individual all-state medal total in speech rose to five, matching those of Todd and Tidwell.

Show choir soloist Nathan Kitrell, a junior, earned all-state bids in acting and musical theater. Kitrell, who earned six outstanding soloist awards in six show choir events as a sophomore, sang “Words Fail” to garner his third all-state honor overall.

Kitrell’s acting entry came from Richard Shelton’s “The Prodigy,” a selection that showed how a young student with a calcium deficiency shows incredible skill with the cello, an instrument that helps the boy become a viral sensation on YouTube. With praise, however, comes envy, at times, and this was the case in Shelton’s piece, one that ends with the child having his hand stomped on by a bully.

“After high school, I want to go into choral education,” Kitrell said.

Bryce, who lauded the work of assistant speech coaches Linda Nahra and Mandy Suing, also spoke of East High School’s debate program, which has helped speech students gear up for the season. Kuiken has worked to build a state power in debate and has seen impressive results as that season dovetails into continued success for Bryce’s program.

“It’s been great to see how both programs have benefited one another and our students,” said Bryce.