Several MHS Speech students heading to state competition


Choral Reading WEB

Choral Reading state qualifiers include (Back row, from left) Dwight Joar, Ana Nolasco, Nyapuka Gatwech, and Olivia Jacobson; middle row: Abby Murty, Emily Waldon, Frederick Ross III, and Taylor Naughton; front row: Jaime Lopez and Jovana Cordova.

Several Marshalltown High School Speech students impressed judges at district-level competition in Montezuma last weekend, punching their tickets to the state contest in February. 

The competitors earned state competition berths in three categories: Choral Reading, Group Improv and Ensemble Acting. 

“I couldn’t be prouder,” said coach and MHS teacher Jocelyn Frohwein. “I think it’s important to realize they put themselves out there to do this.” 

She said the students are a close-knit group of dedicated competitors. Their work ethic was evident throughout the season, Frohwein said, including when the students decided among themselves to have a last-minute practice session at 5 a.m. the day of the district competition.

“It is such a good feeling to go to state. I’ve been doing speech for three years,” said junior Frederick Ross III, who qualified for state as part of both the Group Improv and Choral Reading teams.

Senior Ana Nolasco, who qualified for state in Choral Reading and Ensemble Acting, said she and Frohwein worked hard on writing the group’s Choral Reading performance, titled “America.” 

“I felt happy and relieved,” Ana said of the group’s state competition qualification. “I know myself and the group I was with put in hard work.”

Not all of the students who competed this weekend are longtime Bobcats Speech students. 

“It was really fun and I’m really glad I decided to join Speech,” said senior Mackenzie Peter, who joined earlier this school year.

Raul Rusu, a junior and exchange student from Romania, said it was an amazing feeling to go to state in the Ensemble Acting and Group Improv categories.

Senior Abby Murty said she was shocked to be part of the state-qualifying group in her first and only year being involved in Bobcat Speech. 

The students thanked Frohwein and her fellow coach, MHS Associate Band Director Christian Loaiza, for their inspiration and guidance. 

The full list of students going to the State Large Group Contest Feb. 8 at Cedar Rapids Washington High School includes:

Choral Reading

Ensemble Acting WEB

This trio of students will represent the Bobcats in the Ensemble Acting section of the State Large Group Speech competition. Pictured from left are Ashlyn Ruiz, Raul Rusu, and Ana Nolasco. 

  • Dwight Joar
  • Ana Nolasco
  • Nyapuka Gatwech
  • Olivia Jacobson
  • Abby Murty
  • Emily Waldon
  • Frederick Ross III
  • Taylor Naughton
  • Jaime Lopez
  • Jovana Cordova

Group Improv

  • Raul Rusu
  • Mackenzie Peter
  • Abby Murty
  • Frederick Ross III

Ensemble Acting

  • Ashlyn Ruiz
  • Raul Rusu
  • Ana Nolasco


For more information on high school speech competition in Iowa, click here

Group Improv WEB

Four students qualified in the Group Improv section, including, from left: Raul Rusu, Frederick Ross III, Mackenzie Peter, and Abby Murty.