The Whitesburg Middle School Speech Team competed in the Kentucky High School Speech League’s State Tournament, March 25-26, on the campus of the University of Kentucky. Kaleigh Adams, Rebecca Bailey, Abby Bentley, Stephen Burke, Jadeyn Conn, Elexis Craft, Matthew Craft, Olivia Frazier, Emma Halcomb, Michael Hardin, Gracie Hatton, Dalton Honeycutt, Gracie Howard, Abby Little, Kaci McCown, Ellie Mullins, Sam Mullins, Maddy Parsons, Jazmin Ramirez, Patrick Stewart, Isabelle Thomas, and Ashley Vanover made up the Appalachian Region Regional Championship team.
At state, six members of the team advanced to the semifinal round, placing them in the top 18 of their respective category. Those students advancing were eighth-grader Ashley Vanover who advanced in both the categories in which she was competing, Impromptu Speaking and Original Oratory; seventhgraders Kaci McCown and Maddy Parsons advanced in Duo Acting; and sixthgraders Gracie Hatton and Gracie Howard advanced in Improvisational Duo.
The sixth-grade duo later advanced to finals, which is the top six in the state and finished third in the entire state.
Each team is required to provide KHSSL-trained judges based on the number of entries. Serving in that capacity and/or chaperoning were Rhoda Whitaker, Vanessa Vanover, Angie Hatton, Sharie Bailey, Tonya McCown, Tonya Little, Tony Little, Beau Hatton, Leslie Parsons, and Benny McCall. The team is coached by Debi Sexton.