Homer Alaska - Schools

Story last updated at 5:34 PM on Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Team, coach soar at state

By Mckibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

Homer High School students on the school's DDF — drama, debate and forensics — team and Coach Amy Christianson came home from last weekend's state meet loaded down with awards.

Christianson was recognized as the 2012 DDF Coach of the Year.

"This is my second year of coaching, and we have been having a fantastic year," said Christianson.

She is assisted by Kyra Wagoner and Ruby Quarton.

"I couldn't do this without them. They're amazing," Christianson said.

With 22 Homer High School students competing in DDF events this year, 15 were selected for state, the biggest team Homer has sent. Five individuals, plus the team, made it into the finals:

• Adella Sundmark and Theo Noomah, second place, pantomine:

• Jacob Mayforth, first place, original oration;

• Adella Sundmark: third place, original oration;

• Jacob Mayforth and Herman Hannan: first place, duet acting;

• Trevor Waldorf: fifth place, foreign extemporaneous speaking;

• Team overall: third, drama;

• Team overall: third, forensics.

Other Homer High students also placed "very well," said Christianson. Additional awards brought home by team members included:

• Emmet Meyer, Matthew Meyer, Brittney Bordner, Sydney Paulino, Herman Hannan: seventh place, reader's theatre;

• Jacob Mayforth, Drew Turner, Johnny Hamilton, Trevor Waldorf: 10th place, reader's theatre;

• Jonas Noomah and Evan Boyer: seventh place, duo interpretation;

• Evan Boyer: eighth place, domestic extemporaneous speaking;

• Adi Davis: ninth place, foreign extemporaneous speaking;

• Adella Sundmark and Casey Parrett: 11th place, public forum debate;

• Brittney Bordner: 11th place, Lincoln Douglas debate.

Christianson congratulated "the students on the amazing job that they did this year. They've worked really hard and we should all be incredibly proud of them."

The benefits to students who participate in DDF are "phenomenal," said Christianson, "It teaches them public speaking skills and gets them comfortable with performing in front of people. It also gets them much more aware."

As an example, she pointed to the foreign extemporaneous speaking event in which entrants draw a topic and then have 30 minutes to prepare a five- to seven-minute talk on the subject. For original oration, participants prepare an eight- to 10-minute talk.

"It lets kids explore what they're passionate about," said Christianson.

"Kids do a lot of performing. There are eight different drama categories. Or there are three different kinds of debate. Or there's public speaking. It gives them so many chances to learn about themselves and push their boundaries."

With high school DDF at an end for the school year, Christianson will be directing a play at Homer High, "Chicken Every Sunday," by Julius and Philip Epstein.

The curtain goes up on the comedy April 21, complete with a cast of 18.

"It'll be a lot of fun," said Christianson. "We'll definitely be seeing some of the DDF team in the cast, but hopefully others from the school as well. It's not just DDF."

McKibben Jackinsy can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.