Speech Team welcomes new coaching staff


Sisay Shannon-Tamrat

Speech participants sign up for their weekly one hour practices.

Lucas Latterell, Staff Writer

As the winter activity season begins, the BSM Speech Team will welcome new members, new pieces, and perhaps most notably, a host of new coaches. Seven new coaches will be joining the BSM speech program this season and nearly all of them are BSM alumni.

Kaia Preus, a former speech-er and current substitute teacher at BSM, will be working with the Creative Expression category. She will be using her prior success and experience in that category to  help the upcoming students.

A professional actress, alum Vanessa Wasche, decided to begin coaching after watching the 2015 Speech Showcase last season. Vanessa is excited about the upcoming season. “I am thrilled by the level of enthusiasm and dedication the students already have and the season is just beginning,” Wasche said.

Anne Rondonia has coached in prior years, but had to give up coaching a few years ago because of work demands.This season she will be bringing her expertise back to BSM to continue her coaching career.

Two sisters, Anna and Laura Hickey will also be making their return to BSM this year, mainly focusing on the Humorous category. Because Anna is a professional actress, and Laura has been doing stand up comedy for a number of years, they both bring lots of good insight to the team this season. “What excites me about speech is what these kids are gonna bring to the table. Every idea, every pop, every thought, I’m always excited to see what they are thinking and where they think they can go with it. Creativity is boundless,” Laura Hickey said.

Alex Smith will be working with extemporaneous speakers in his first year coaching for speech. Smith attended the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament several times and can bring his own expertise to the students in extemporaneous speaking category.

The only new coach who did not attend BSM is Roxy Janke, an incredibly successful coach who has sent multiple students to the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament, with over 30 years of coaching experience under her belt. The BSM speech team is excited to welcome her to the team. Janke is optimistic for the season. “There is no greater feeling than to watch speakers realize the importance of the power of the word. I have coached in Minnesota for 32 years and I never tire of watching how speakers change and grow from the start of the season to the end. I am thrilled to have a chance to work the BSM speakers. From the moment I met them, I knew that because of their commitment, kindness and passion their speech season will be a good one,” Janke said.

Head BSM Speech Coach Maura Brew is incredibly enthusiastic about the new coaching staff, “I am so excited. I had a meeting with them, and there is so much talent coming to the team this year. I am so excited to have so many talented, talented coaches and so many alums come back and help us,” Brew said.