The Whitesburg Middle School speech team participated in the Kentucky High School Speech League’s (KHSSL) regional competition in Knott County on Feb. 14. Team members who competed were eighth graders Jessica Boggs, Jayda Carrier, Dayjha Carter, Marlee Baker and Nick Sergent; seventh graders Brooklyn Bentley, Ashley Vanover, Samuel Mullins and Sheldon Tolliver; and sixth graders Kaci McCown, Natalie Adams, Maddie Parsons and Abby Little.
Regional winners were Kaci McCown and Natalie Adams in Duo Acting and Sam Mullins in Broadcast. Regional runners-up were Dayjha Carter in Original Oratory and Natalie Adams in Impromptu Speaking.
The Whitesburg team won the KHSSL Appalachian Regional Runner-Up Award because of its combined scores.
All members of the team advanced to state competition held at the University of Kentucky on March 27 and 28. At this competition, three of the WMS team members advanced to the semi-finals (top 16 in the state). Jessica Boggs was ranked seventh in the state in Original Oratory, Sheldon Tolliver advanced for the second year in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Natalie Adams competed in Impromptu Speaking.
The team is coached by Debi Burton Sexton with assistants and judges Rhoda Whitaker, Vanessa Vanover, Malinda Boggs and Angie Hatton Mullins.