Showcasing their talents

Millard West Forensics team hosts annual event


Senior Raimee Seal performs her Informative speech at the showcase. She was thrilled about how successful the showcase turned out to be. “I felt very proud of my peers and I was happy to have had a successful season,” Seal said. “We accomplished a lot this year, especially coming off of a COVID season last year, so it was truly amazing to see what everyone had achieved.”

Camille O'Neill, Sports Director

After a very successful competition season, the Millard West Forensics team had their yearly showcase in the library where the team had a chance to perform their speeches they had been competing with all season in front of friends and family on Thursday, March 24.

Forensics coach Jennifer Jerome has done a showcase of this kind ever since she started teaching over 30 years ago, and she intends to keep doing them in the future. She had to do a lot of prep work with the team throughout the season in order to make the event a success. 

“The showcase allows students to perform without the stress of competition,” Jerome said. “To prepare, we talk as a team about what order the students will present and the students get to choose which one of their speeches they present.”

The Forensics team practices every Monday after school, in addition to meeting during fourth block during the second and third semesters. Every Friday and Saturday during the season, the team travels to various competitions to compete against schools in the Omaha metro areal

The seniors on the team played a big role both in organizing the showcase and helping their younger team members throughout the season. They chose to alternate the informative and entertainment events so viewers could get a good feel for both event types. The categories that were presented at the showcase include Informative, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous and Entertainment.

“Seniors do play a large role in the team’s growth throughout the season,” senior Ashley Sudeta said. “We give feedback to the less experienced people on the team and we help them put together their pieces. Being a senior on the forensics team means spending the whole season not just working on your own speech or program, but also mentoring your younger teammates. I’ve found it very rewarding and I’m immensely proud of how everyone on the team performed and grew as people this year.”

The showcase also gave eighth graders who are interested in joining a chance to see what the Forensics team is all about. Once the showcase was over, current members on the team got a chance to talk with the incoming freshmen to give them a better idea about what it would take to be involved in forensics.

“It was really fun to talk to the eighth graders and see what events they were interested in competing with for next year,” senior Raimee Seal said. “We’re always looking to have more people on the team so that we can grow as a forensics community and help people develop their voices.”

The Forensics team was able to have a successful in-person showcase since after last year, they had to implement COVID restrictions and only let family members in. The team took the opportunity to celebrate their successful season, including a third place finisher at state, at the showcase.