Passing The Officer’s Torch – A Q&A With Maggie Leach and Sam Beukelman

Zane McSheehy, Reporter

Seniors Maggie Leach (in black) and Sam Beukelman (in purple) participating in the Pella High Speech and Drama performance of CLUE: On Stage

As the season finally ends for the Pella High Speech Team, the end-of-the-year speech banquet comes around the corner. With this banquet comes a changing of the guard for the speech team officers, seniors who were chosen last year to be leaders above all other speech team participants. Seniors officers Maggie Leach and Sam Beukelman will get to choose their replacement officers for the following year, and as their time with the Pella High Speech Team comes to a close, I decided to ask them a few questions about these big changes.


Z: So, with a position like an officer, there comes a bit of pressure… so what was it like being chosen as an officer, realizing you were now in charge?


S: It felt really nice to be chosen as an officer as it was something I was looking forward to for a long time. I didn’t really think of it as being in charge but more as a way to help freshmen and new thespians.


M: I was honored to have been chosen as an officer. When I was a freshman, it was my dream to become speech president. I knew there would be a lot of hard work in front of me but knowing that helped me push myself to be a great leader. I wanted to be a leader and someone for other students to look up to and ask for help if they needed it. 


Z: What was your favorite part about being an officer this year?


M: My favorite part of being an officer was being a role model for other students. They asked more for help when they needed it and it felt nice being there for people who wanted to better their skills.


S: My favorite part of being an officer this year was creating the slideshow for the end-of-the-year banquet. It was really nice to look back on all the pictures taken from this year.


Z: Is there any pressure on you when it comes to choosing your replacement?


M: I don’t think there’s too much pressure. You can do as much or as little work as your want to. I did a lot because that’s what I felt like I should do but it is all up to the new officer to decide.


S: No I don’t feel any pressure, I trust that the next officers will do great in fulfilling their role.


Z: What is your favorite performance you’ve done with speech?


S: My favorite performance I have had in speech was my sophomore year readers theaters at state. Everything about it was great and I loved the script. We later found out that it was selected for All-State which was exciting as well.


M: My favorite performance was my All-State Prose performance from this year. It wasn’t timed and I could take as much time as I wanted unlike the traditional way during competition. I knew it would be one of my last performances so I tried to go all out and not hold anything back,



Z: How does it feel knowing this is your last year with the Pella Speech Team?


S: I would say it’s mixed emotions. I have had so much fun with this group and it will be hard to leave but at the same time, I am very thankful for all the opportunities and great memories that have come out of speech.


M: It’s a bittersweet end. I am so happy and grateful for the success I have had within the speech department. I have grown as an individual and performer. It will be sad to say goodbye to the stage of PHS but I know I have made the most of my time. 


Z: Do you plan on doing speech in college or other performing arts?


M: I am attempting to get on a college team as of now but if that doesn’t happen I would like to do some theatre productions in or outside of college. This may be my end at PHS but not an end to performing.


S: As of right now I am not planning on continuing with speech in college. I have had a great time in high school speech and kind of want to leave it how it was.


Z: Favorite Speech Memory?


S: My favorite speech memory was when Connor Gauley took me into Spencer’s after a speech performance. Needless to say, we went to the back of the store.


M: My favorite memory was All-State freshman year. I was riding back from performing at UNI with some of the coaches and Mrs. Willams got a phone call and said “Yep I’m here with Ashlee!” To which Mrs. Whittignton replied “YEE YEE!”


Z: Will you miss the team?


M: Absolutely, we’ve done so much work together and this team has been a big part of my high school career. Saying I would miss it would be an understatement.


S: Yeah, I am going to miss the team like crazy. They have been with me for all four years and it will suck to have to let them go but I am thankful for all they’ve given me.