October 7th Harrisburg High School
(Oct 17th) Local Menno Meet
October 20th SF Washington
October 24th Lennox High School
November 1st Districts United Methodist Church, Mitchell
November 14th Regions United Methodist Church, Mitchell
December 1-2 State Harrisburg High School
The 2022-23 team consisted of Lexie, Sophia, Josie, William, Kaelie, Maggie, and Haylee (not pictured Brooklyn). Kaelie, Maggie, and Lexie made it to regions and state. At state, Lexie received a superior for her storytelling. Kaelie and Maggie received excellent ratings on their drama and oratory selections respectively.
Lexie, third from the left, received a superior at the state festival. Picture is courtesy of SDPB,
Menno High School Students Advance to State Oral Interp Contest
Seven Menno High School students competed in the Virtual Region 2-B Oral Interp Contest. Maggie Miller competed in Non-Original Oratory with her selection “Aly Raisman's Statement.” Kyle Kyriss competed in Humorous with his selection “Jogging With My Wife” by Bradley Walton. The reader’s theater group made up of Menno High School seniors Brady Fergen, Caden Fischer, Madelyn Heckenlaible, Carly Herrboldt, Kyle Kyriss, and Adrian Nusz performed their selection “Witnesses” by Matt Buchanan. The readers theater selection goes onto the virtual state competition December 4-5. “I am so incredibly proud of the students,” states Mrs. Knodel. “ They have had to perform their selections to an empty room with the camera as their only audience member. This is not easy to accomplish.”
The original, in-person State Festival was scheduled for December 4-5th in Watertown, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association determined that all competitions should be conducted via recorded submissions this year. Coaches will have until 11:59pm on December 4th to upload links to recorded performances for all entries advancing to the State Festival.
Three Events Advance to Region 2B Oral Interp Competition
Adapting well to a new performance venue, three performers/groups from Menno have qualified for the Region Competition.
Menno's Maggie Miller will be competing for one of the three positions that advance to State in Non-Original Oratory. The Humorous category will see Menno's Kyle Kyriss competing as well to enter the state tournament. The Menno Reader’s Theater of Brady Fergen, Caden Fischer, Madelyn Heckenlaible, Carly Herrboldt, Kyle Kyriss, and Adrian Nusz will be seeking a chance to go to state.
The original, live Region 2B competition was scheduled for Tuesday November 17th, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association determined that all competitions should be conducted via recorded submissions this year. All schools with Region qualifiers have until midnight on Thursday, November 19th to upload events for the last round of judging prior to the State Festival.
Menno Middle School students performed well at the Cornbelt Conference Junior High Oral Interp contest on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at Bridgewater-Emery High School. Those receiving Top Superiors were Maggie Miller (8th Oratory), Ashton Massey (8th Humorous), William Stokes (7th Oratory), Samantha Allvin (7th Poetry), and Desiree Yosten (7th Serious). Receiving Superior ratings were Alexis Hogeland (8th Serious) and Haylee Hall (7th Humorous). Receiving an Excellent rating was Bianca Fischer (8th Poetry).
"It was quite the day," stated Coach Betsy Knodel. "As a younger person, it is not easy getting up and speaking in front of others. These students worked incredibly hard on their selections and it paid off in the end. The future of our high school oral interp team looks good."
Thirteen turned out to be a lucky number for the members of the Menno High School Readers Theater team of Hilaray, Carly, and Salome during the 110th annual South Dakota Oral Interpretation Festival held at Yankton High School on Friday, December 6, 2019. "I was a little worried when the team would be the 13th to be heard during the festival," said Coach Betsy Knodel. "Being the last ones to speak doesn't always work in your favor when competing." However, once the team took the stage and began their performance of "Somewhere in America" the worries disappeared. "Other coaches and students from other schools started to tell us how much they enjoyed their selection," Knodel said. "It is humbling when other coaches tell you how great your kids performed."
For Wade, this marks her third and last trip to the state festival. She knew at the end of the previous season that she wanted to perform this piece as a readers theater and had handpicked Herrboldt and Carr to be her teammates. The selection was a combination of a performance by some kids in LA from the Get Lit program as well as thoughts that she and her teammates had about living in America. They touched on topics of racism, sexism, body image, religion, education, and equality in a selection that they personalized into a script that dealt more with local issues. "We wanted to get our message out," Hilaray remarked, "and by making it to state, everyone got to hear our message."
Following their performance on Friday, they waited with anticipation for the results. As the teams were announced for superior performances, it didn't take long before the announcer announced their names. "It is always a feeling of pure joy when your students get the recognition they so deserve," said Coach Knodel. "These young women had put in numerous hours of early morning and after school practices to create a selection that would reach out to others and touch lives with their message. It was a well-deserved honor for them."
For Herrboldt and Carr, this was their first appearance at state. As Carly Herrboldt thinks back on the experience at state, she says, "It was a really good experience. I wish more people could have the chance to be a part of it." Those words were echoed by her teammate, Salome Carr. "It was a great experience," Carr said. "It was really fun to watch the others readers theater teams perform their pieces."
For Wade, the festival held out one more chance to receive a superior for her individual serious selection "Guilt" on Saturday, December 7th. This was Wade's third time at the state festival for serious interp. She competed against fifteen other contestants from across the state and did not receive a superior for her performance. "I'm incredibly proud of the work that Hilaray has performed over the last four years in high school," Knodel stated. "She has a very bright future, and will be missed."
Ten students from Menno High School competed at the
Mount Marty Runner Up Contest held on the campus of Mount Marty College in Yankton on Tuesday, December 3, 2020.
The students competed with 19 other schools (AA, A, and B) from across the region. Two rounds were held in the morning to determine who would advance to the finals. "This contest gives the students a chance to compete against students from all classes and hear others perform," states Coach Betsy Knodel. "It is a great contest for the beginners in oral interp as well as those who fell short at the regional level to compete one more time and improve on their selections." This was evident when speaking to some of the first-year competitors like Halle Van Hove who said, "It was fun to go and compete with my selection which I worked on for a long time."
Menno had representatives in each of the five events they had entered in the finals. Layne Schmidt placed first in poetry with her selection "Separation," Brady Fergen placed third with his oration “Why Bother Leaving the House?”, and Caden Fischer and Kyle Kyriss place third in duet with their selection "Abbot and Costello." Caden said, "When we started this piece, I didn't even know who Abbot and Costello were. After weeks of practice and performance, I think I am close to capturing Costello's character."
Those also competing in finals were Halle Van Hove in storytelling with her selection "18 Feet Underground" and Madelyn Heckenlaible in humorous with her selection "Mental Dental." Others who competed in the contest wereChandler Dant in poetry and the duets of Brady Fergen and Carly Herrboldt along with Jordan Fischer and Trinity Kocourek. It was a great way to end the year.
On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the Region II-B contest was held in Mitchell at the First United Methodist Church beginning at 9:00. Four Menno High School students participated in the contest. Layne competed with her poetry selection "Separation," Hilaray competed with her selection "Guilt," and the reader's theater team of Hilaray, Carly, and Salome competed with their selection "Somewhere in America."
Qualifying for state competition were Hilaray with her serious selection “Guilt” and the reader's theater team of Hilaray, Carly, and Salome with their selection “Somewhere in America.” These students are coached by Betsy Knodel and Kay Smidt.
State competition will take place in Yankton on December 6 and 7. The reader's theater will perform their selection on Friday, December 6 at Yankton High School at 9:00 A.M. Hilaray will perform her serious selection on Saturday, December 7 at Yankton High School beginning at 1:30 P.M. The contest is free and open to the public.
MHS Oral Interp Students Compete in District 3-B Contest and Advance to Regions
Menno High School Oral Interpretation students participated in the district contest held at the United Methodist Church in Mitchell on Tuesday, November 5th, 2019. Those presenting were Brady– Oratory; Madelyn – Humorous; Layne – Poetry; Hilaray – Serious; Caden and Kyle – Duet; and Hilaray , Carly , and Salome– Readers Theater.
Of those students competing, those who advanced to region competition were the Readers Theater team of Hilaray, Carly, and Salome with their selection “Somewhere in America”; Hilaray with her serious selection “Guilt”; and Layne with her poetry selection “Separation.” .” These students will be competing at the Region 2-B contest at the United Methodist Church in Mitchell on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
Students, who are alternates, are Brady in Oratory with the selection “Why Bother Leaving the House?”; and Caden and Kyle with their duet “Abott and Costello.”
Menno Middle School students performed well at the Cornbelt Conference Junior High Oral Interpretation contest on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at Menno High School. Those receiving Top Superiors were Layne Schmidt (8th Serious) and Maggie Miller (7th Serious). Receiving Superior ratings were Josie Stokes (8th Oratory), Madelyn Kludt (8th Poetry), and Kaelie Derby (7th Poetry). Receiving Excellent ratings were Chloe Sluzevich (8th Humorous), Paige Swanson (7th Oratory), and Isaac Fergen (7th Humorous).
“I am extremely proud of the work these young people,” said Coach Betsy Knodel. “It is not easy getting up and speaking in front of others. They worked hard on their selections and it paid off in the end. I look forward to some great high school interpreters coming from this group of young people. ”
On Saturday, December 8, 2018, the duet team of Logan Klaudt and Jaedyn Oplinger competed against twelve other teams from across the state at the South Dakota Oral Interpretation Festival on the grounds of T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre. Although the duet team did not earn a superior ranking at state, they gave a great performance in their duet entitled “If I Could Script a Date.” Their coach, Betsy Knodel, said, “Logan and Jaedyn have great chemistry when working together interpreting and acting.” This sentiment was what one of the judges noticed and said, “You do a good job of talking and listening and you balance each other well.” Although they did not receive a superior, Logan and Jaedyn represented Menno High School with a great performance.
In the afternoon, it was Logan Klaudt’s time to compete in the oratory division. Logan was the second speaker out of fifteen in Class “B” nonoriginal oratory. His selection was the Jimmy Valvano speech at the ESPY Awards when he received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award. Logan received an overall score of 22 from the three judges which put him just one point shy of a superior rating. However, one of the judges stated, “As I watch and hear you speak, I can see myself listening to the coach delivering this speech to the ESPY audience. It's terrific! I really should offer you a constructive remark, but I simply thought this was the perfect speech for an outstanding speaker. In short, a job well done. I could listen to you all day. This is truly superior with distinction.” His coach, Betsy Knodel, added, “I am very proud of Logan and feel so blessed to have been able to work with him the last six years in speech activities. I know that Logan will use these skills for the rest of his life, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
The final speaker from Menno High School for the day was Hilaray Wade in Class “B” serious. Her selection was entitled “Multiple Personality Murder” where she depicted a woman who had been abused and had taken on multiple personalities. One of her judges commented, “…nice variation in child character.” Hilaray competed as the third speaker of the afternoon in a field of 15 speakers. “I am very proud of her for taking on such a difficult and demanding selection and making it come to life. I expect a lot more from Hilaray in the future.
Menno High School Oral Interp Students Compete in District and Regional Contests:
Klaudt, Wade, and J. Oplinger Advance to State
Menno High School Oral Interpretation students participated in the District III-B contest held on the campus of DWU in Mitchell on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Those presenting were Logan Klaudt – Oratory; Devin Rich – Storytelling; Kyle Kyriss – Humorous; Hilaray Wade– Dramatic; Kia Ahalt – Poetry; Logan Klaudt and Jaedyn Oplinger– Duet; and Sam Bender, Logan Klaudt, Kiara Nusz, Jaedyn Oplinger, Tess Oplinger, and Eisley Sayler – Readers Theater.
Of those students competing, Jaedyn Oplinger and Logan Klaudt advanced to region competition with their duet entitled “If I Could Script a Date.” Also going on to regions were the Readers Theater team of Sam Bender, Logan Klaudt, Kiara Nusz, Jaedyn Oplinger, Tess Oplinger, and Eisley Sayler with their selection “Flight 212 to LA.” In individual events, Logan Klaudt advanced with his oratory selection “The Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award Speech,” Kia Ahalt advanced with her poetry selection “Separation,” and Hilaray Wade went on with her serious selection “Multiple Personality Murder.” Kyle Kyriss was chosen as an alternate with his humorous selection “Roy Rob Tuttle’s Sermon for Success,” and Devin Rich was chosen alternate in storytelling with her selection “The Cold Weather Cowdog Blues.”
On Tuesday, November 13, 2018 the Region II-B contest was held in Mitchell at the First United Methodist Church beginning at 8:30. Qualifying for state competition were Logan Klaudt with his oratory selection “The Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award Speech,” Hilaray Wade with her serious selection “Multiple Personality Murder,” and Jaedyn Oplinger and Logan Klaudt’s duet entitled “If I Could Script a Date.”
State competition will take place in Watertown on November 30 and December 1. Logan and Jaedyn will perform their duet on Saturday, December 1 at Watertown High School at 9:00 A.M. Hilaray and Logan’s individual events will be held on Saturday, December 1 at Watertown High School beginning at 1:30 P.M. The contest is free and open to the public.
On Friday, December 2, 2017, Logan Klaudt and Hilaray Wade competed in the South Dakota State Oral Interp Festival at Aberdeen Central High School in Aberdeen. Logan was the fourth speaker out of fifteen in Class “B” poetry. Logan Klaudt competed in the poetry division with his selection entitled “Until We Meet Again” by Shane Cole. His selection was about young man who was struggling with the death of his grandfather. Although Logan received an excellent rating from the judges, he received a composite score of 22 which was two points short of receiving a superior at the festival. Kim Bartling, one of the judges stated, “You are blessed with a beautiful, rich vocal tool.” Another judge, Kristine Hayes, said, “…powerful final message…thank you for sharing this material. Your committed delivery shows its importance to you.”
In the afternoon, it was Hilaray Wade’s turn to speak. Hilaray was the 15th speaker out of fifteen in Class “B” serious reading. Hilaray’s selection was entitled “Sister of Mercy” by Clyde Hendrickson. Her selection was about a young girl who tells the story of her brother’s military funeral that was interrupted by protesters and her reaction to what they did. Although Hilaray received an excellent rating from the judges, she received a composite score of 21 which was one point shy of receiving a superior at the festival. Trisha Burke, a judge, commented, “You have fabulous anger. Good empathy…Thank you for a solid performance.” Another judge, Jennifer Ell, talked about Hilaray’s excellent eye contact and great characterizations.
“I am very proud of both of them,” said Betsy Knodel. “Logan and Hilaray gave the best performances of their seasons and I both had challenging selections with good messages. They received compliments from other coaches and competitors. I’m wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see them both competing at state again next year.”
Menno High School Oral Interp Students Compete in District Contest
Menno High School Oral Interpretation students participated in the district contest held on the campus of DWU in Mitchell on Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Those presenting were Breanna Mehlhaf – Oratory; Devin Rich – Storytelling; Hilaray Wade – Dramatic; Logan Klaudt – Poetry; Kyle Kyriss – humorous; Kiara Nusz and Jaedyn Oplinger– Duet; and Jaedyn Oplinger, Tess Oplinger, and Eisley Sayler - Readers Theater.
Of those students competing, the Readers Theater team of Jaedyn Oplinger, Tess Oplinger, and Eisley Sayler with their selection “Mirror Monologues” advanced onto region competition. In individual events, Logan Klaudt advances with his poetry selection “Until We Meet Again,” Kyle Kyriss goes on with his humorous selection “Boys Will Be Boys,” Devin Rich continues with her selection “The Dog Wolf,” and Hilaray Wade progresses with her serious selection “Sister of Mercy.” Those competing but not advancing are Breanna Mehlhaf with her oratory selection “Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals” and the duet of Jaedyn Oplinger and Kiara Nusz entitled “Ditzies.”
On Tuesday, November 14, 2017 the Region II-B contest will be held in Mitchell on the DWU campus beginning at 8:30. The contest is open to the public at no charge.
MHS Oral Interp Students Compete in Region II-B Contests: Klaudt and Wade Advance to State
Menno High School Oral Interpretation students participated in the Region II-B contest held on the campus of DWU in Mitchell on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017. Those presenting were Devin Rich – storytelling; Logan Klaudt – poetry; Kyle Kyriss – humorous; Hilaray Wade – serious; and Jaedyn Oplinger, Tess Oplinger, and Eisley Sayler – readers theater.
Of those students competing, those who advance to state competition were Logan Klaudt who advances with his poetry selection “Until We Meet Again” and Hilaray Wade who advances with her serious selection “Sister of Mercy.” Devin Rich is the alternate for storytelling and the readers theater team is also the alternate.
On Saturday, December 2, 2017, Logan will present his selection at Aberdeen Central High School beginning at 9 A.M. Hilaray will present her selection at the afternoon session beginning at 1:30 P.M. at Aberdeen Central High School. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the state festival, you can go to sdhsaa.com .
Menno Oral Interp Students Compete and Win at Mount Marty Contest
Eighteen Menno High School oral interpretations students competed at Mt. Marty College on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 in the 2nd Place Contest. Students presented their selections twice in the morning to vie for a place in the final rounds held in the afternoon sessions.
Those who represented Menno High School were Paige Dyk, Brady Fergen, and Hannah Fischer in poetry; Kia Ahalt, Madelyn Heckenlaible, and Kyle Kyriss in humorous; Sydney Simon in serious; Devin Rich in storytelling; Jaedyn Oplinger and Kiara Nusz, Hilaray Wade and Sydney Simon, Hilaray Wade and Carly Herrboldt, and Paige Dyk and Caden Fischer in duet; and Eisley Sayler, Jaedyn Oplinger, and Tess Oplinger as the junior readers theater team and Kyle Kyriss, Brady Fergen, Adrian Nusz, and Carly Herrboldt as the freshmen readers theater team.
Five of the fifteen events competed in the final round. The junior reader's theater team received first place for the “B” schools and the freshmen team received second place. Kyle Kyriss received first place in the humorous “B” school division. Devin Rich competed in the storytelling final and received fourth place, and the duet team of Kiara Nusz and Jaedyn Oplinger received fourth place.
“It has been a great year for the team, and I couldn’t be happier with the results of the contest at Mt. Marty,” head coach Betsy Knodel stated. “Now it is time to focus on the state festival in Aberdeen this weekend when Logan Klaudt and Hilaray Wade complete in poetry and serious respectively.”
Middle School Oral Interp
Middle School Students Perform Well at Cornbelt Junior High Oral Interp Contest
Back row (l to r) Starr Kocourek, Grace Nusz, Bridget Vaith, and Anna Kludt. Front row: Halle VanHove, Madelyn Kludt, Layne Schmidt, and Brooklynn Mettler.
Menno Middle School students performed well at the Cornbelt Conference Junior High Oral Interpretation contest on Thursday, March 1 at Hanson High School in Alexandria. Those receiving top superiors were Anna Kludt (8th poetry), Starr Kocourek (8th humor), and Bridget Vaith (8th dramatic). Those receiving a superior were Madelyn Kludt (7th poetry) and Halle VanHove (7th humor). Grace Nusz (8th oratory) and Brooklynn Mettler (7th oratory) received excellent ratings, and Layne Schmidt (7th dramatic) received a good rating. They competed against students from Bridgewater/Emery, Freeman, and Hanson.
“I am extremely proud of the work these young women did for the competition,” said Coach Betsy Knodel. “It takes a lot of practice and confidence to get in front of a crowd and bring someone else’s literary work to life.”
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