Warsaw high school and the residents of the city are very proud of the school speech department, and especially the nine students who make their way through the state finals. Seven of the champions will represent Warsaw high school and Indiana in national competition in Lexington Ky., in June.
This is the first time in a number of years that a school has won all but two events in state speech competition girls' extemporaneous, boys' extemporaneous, original oratory, oratorical, dramatic humorous and poetry interpretation, radio announcing and discussion. In one of the two events in which Warsaw students were not first place winners radio announcing and original oratory Duke Fisher placed second in the latter.
Mrs. Petrie, head of the speech department has had all of the state speech winners in her department for two years, except Carol Stone and Seth Lewis, and some of them for three years. She stated that this interest in speech began three years ago when two of these state winners Larry Poland and Margie Long went to state finals as sophomores. Duke Fisher also participated in congress during his sophomore year. He says he made up his mind then that he was going to major in speech activities in high school and try to make the National Competition his senior year. Duke has a fight to win such as his father had when he was coach in Warsaw.
Larry Poland, Duke Fisher and Margie Long have won more honors in the speech activities than any other students in the state. Larry and Duke are both state champs in open debate in student congress. They also have won top honors in original oratory and boys' extemporaneous and have excelled in dramatics. Duke was the recipient of the American Legion Oratorical four-year scholarship to Indiana University. He also was awarded a scholarship to Indiana university in science. Duke was the only student in the state to win first place in both student congress and boys' extemporaneous.
Larry Poland, exchange student to Europe last year, also says his interest in speech began three years ago when he was in the state finals. This is his third year to participate in the state finals. Mrs. Petrie reported that she had never had two students, who were such keen competitors for top honors in nearly every tournament, show such wonderful sportsmanship and fine friendly spirit toward each other. That is the secret of their success. They have boosted each other and have won friends throughout the state by spreading good will among students and coaches.
The congress election for the National is based on the number of honors won in speech competition, the student ability to write and discuss bills pertaining to governmental affairs, their knowledge of current affairs, parliamentary law, their speaking ability, and their popularity with the coaches and students. Both the students and the coaches are the judges of the students who will be sent to the National Congress.
Margie Long has won more honors in dramatics than any other student in the state during the past two years, holding state championship title both years. It is felt that Margie will succeed in the dramatic field if she continues to apply herself. She has a strong determination to master any role she is given. She has talent and if the proper counseling, guidance, and opportunity, success should be hers. Mrs. Petrie commented that it had been a real pleasure working with Margie and her brother, Art, and sister, Mary Ann. There never had been more enjoyable dramatic students, she also added.
Anita Eddingfield, another member of the championship team, has won her honors in girls' extemporaneous. This is the toughest of all events, because the students must be able to think quickly, to arrange and organize thoughts and must be well-read. They never know what subject they will draw until 40 minutes before time to speak. The only assistance the coaches can offer is to train them beforehand to organize a speech, how to deliver it and have them practice speaking all year until they have acquired sufficient poise, technique and general knowledge of current affairs. Anita is salutatorian of her class and has been outstanding in music and dramatics. Mrs. Petrie says she has won a lot of honors in high school and will continue to make Warsaw proud of her achievements.
Patti Dirck, the fifth member of the championship team, has won all her speech honors this year. She has been outstanding in music, being a member of the band and choir. This year she has captured top honors in two fields poetry interpretation and oratorical interpretation. Patti was undefeated in both the N.F.L. Tournament and the all-state finals last Saturday. She is the state champion in oratory. The high school North West association, which governs all state and National Tournaments, says that they must not allow more than 250 students in the National Competition, therefore this event does not continue beyond the state finals.
Connie Stavropuos, the sixth member of the team, has also been in speech for two years. She is secretary of N.F.L. and has certainly won her share of honors as a member of the state champion debate team. Connie has participated in all speech events including congress, discussion, extemporaneous, and dramatics. She is a fine student and it is predicted that a bright future awaits her in speech field.
FINE DEBATE RECORD
John Bennett, the seventh member of the championship team, has made a fine record this year especially in debate. He has been a member of N.F.L. for three years. John has been active in congress and extemporaneous. This year he went all out for debate and helped bring home the all-state debate trophy. John has also participated in all speech activities including congress, discussion, dramatics, and interpretation. He will make a fine showing at the National. It is hoped that he will again be successful in helping to bring home another trophy. He has made a fine contribution to the senior speech class as well as to his debate team and the Warsaw high school.
Mrs. Petrie says she would like to pay tribute to another outstanding member of the speech team who took second place in the N.F.L. State Finals. She took second place in debate and poetry interpretation. Sue Gast has made outstanding contributions in all speech activities. She also took second place in the Rotary Oratorical Contest. Sue was voted as one of the top ten in the Purdue Legislative Conference. Sue starred in her junior play "Sabrina Fair" and has been one of the most valuable members of N.F.L. She also went to the state finals in girls extemporaneous, her first year in speech, her junior year. Sue plans to attend Northwestern university next year and major in speech. A successful career for Sue is predicted in whatever field she chooses.
Another member of our Championship team who helped to pile up points for the state trophy was a junior Greg Zuck. Greg has been most successful this year, having won top honors in every tournament in boys extemporaneous. Mrs. Petrie predicts he will be another Duke Fisher with another year's experience. Greg was recently elected president of N.F.L. for next year.
Two sophomores who have done outstanding work this year and helped pile up points are Carol Stone, who was a member of the state championship debate team, and Mark Mason, who was awarded the second place silver medal in discussion at the state finals last Saturday. Mrs. Petrie predicts a successful career for these beginners next year.
SETH LEWIS, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Lewis, West Main Street is a member of the state championship debate team. He and Carol Stone, a sophomore, were members of the negative team debating the farm parity question. To their credit this year they have 29 wins and 11 losses. In county competition, Seth won superior awards in extemporaneous speaking and radio announcing. He and Carol won at Peru, Hammond and Elmhurst (Fort Wayne) invitational debate tourneys earlier in the year. Seth formerly lived in Indianapolis, coming to Warsaw high school in his senior year. He is the recipient of a $5,000 General Motors scholarship to Butler university. He hopes to debate during his college years with the Butler university squad.
CAROL STONE, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Stone of South Harding avenue, is the only sophomore on the local state championship debate team. Carol, who came here two years ago from Lombard, Ill., debated the negative side of the farm parity question with Seth Lewis this year. She and Seth had 29 wins and 11 losses in debate competion, taking second in the intramurals, first in the district, zone and state debate contests. Carol is a member of G.A.A., National Forensic League, sings with the high school chorus.
CONNIE STAVROPULOS, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Stavropulos, of North Buffalo Street. Connie will go to the national tournament as honorary captain of the local debate team. She was recently elected by her teammates as the most valuable member of the state championship debate team. In every meet this year Connie has ranked as one of the five outstanding speakers. She and John Bennett argued the affirmative side of the farm parity bill. They are the first in many years to win a state championship and place second in the National Forensic League district tourney. They have to their credit this year 33 wins and nine loses in debate. Connie plans to enter Manchester college where she will major in speech and music education. She is the recipient of a Manchester college freshman honor scholarship.
JOHN BENNETT, son of Mrs. Elsie Eleopulos, of East Fort Wayne street, is a member of the state championship team which is entered in the National Speech contest at Lexington, Ky., in June. John and Connie Stavropulos, were members of the affirmative team debaing the farm parity question. They were runners-up in the National Forensic League district contest and state open champions. They won 27 and lost nine debates this year. John is winner of the National Freedoms Foundation Award for an editorial he wrote and which appeared as an editorial in the school paper. He plans to enter Manchester college in the fall, where he will major in speech education. John has taken part in other school activities including class plays
LARRY POLAND, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. Poland, of Winona Lake, has qualified for the national contest in legislative debate. Legislative debate is a form of debate which is carried on in the same manner as in our national congress. Larry was named outstanding senator in the congress session at Hammond this spring on the basis of his speaking on bills submitted by student senators. In the state contest he was again named the best senator. He has been active in music and sports during his high school career, is an exchange stucent to Germany, is president of the Warsaw high school student body and student council. Larry will enter Wheaton college in the fall. He plans to study for the Christian ministry or to teach speech.
ANITA EDDINGFIELD, daughter of Mrs. A. L. Eddingfield, West Center street, this year won the state championship at the National Forensic League speech contest in the field of girls' extemporaneous speaking. She also participated in congress work, had a leading role in the senior play, has been active in high school choir work, serving as the accompanist for several years. Anita, salutatorian of her class, was a delegate to Girl's State last summer and was recipient of the DAR Good Citizenship award. She will participate in the National Speech contest at Lexington, Ky. In the fall Anita will enroll at DePauw iniversity where she plans to major in English and speech.
PATTI DIRCK, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alden C. Dirck, Mentone road, captured top honors in two fields this year--poetry and oratorical interpretation. Patti was undefeated in both the N.F.L. tournament and the all state finals. She is state champion in oratory, however, the National rules do not permit competition in this field and she will not enter the National. Patti is active in dramatics, choir and band.
DUKE FISHER, son of Rep., and Mrs. George Fisher, of near Leesburg, will enter national speech competition in the field of extemporaneous speaking. Duke, a few months ago also earned the right to go to National in the congress, House of Representatives. He chose extemporaneous speaking in the National because it would permit him to enter original oratory, too, and permit his alternative, a boy from Howe Military academy, to attend the congress in his place. In addition to speaking extemporaneously Duke will give his original oration, "The Lost Treasurer." He has been active in dramatics (school class plays), track; is vice president of the senior class; attended Boy's state last summer; and recently won a scholarship to Indiana university in the field of science.
MARGIE LONG, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William A. Long, East Main street, has won more honors in dramatics than any other student in the state. This year she holds three state championships--N.F.L. state champion in humorous declamation; N.F.L. state champion in dramatic declamation; and open state champion in dramatic declamation. In her sophomore year she placed second in the open state finals, and as a junior she was state champion in both the N.F.L. and open divisions. At the National Speech contest held at Muskogee, Okla., Margie placed 11th with her dramatic interpretation of "The snow Goose." At the nationals this year she will give a dramatic interpretation of "Joan of Lorraine." In the fall she will enter college at Ripon, Wis., where she will major in speech and dramatics. She was in her junior year awarded a $250 scholarship to Ripon college.
Warsaw Times-Union Saturday, May 18, 1957
Back to YesterYear in Print