English teacher Jessica Williams has joined the speech team as an Individual Speech Coach at Suzanne Jones’ request. In previous years, she has been involved with the speech team informally giving students advice on how to improve their individual acts.
“I enjoyed speech as a student. I have helped out here by giving feedback to Pella High students participating in speech as well,” said Williams. “In past years, I have been a part of the teacher improv team for the speech program’s spring improv show.”
She believes this to be different from years in the past because of her new position and getting to be involved in the process from start to finish.
“I didn’t really have an official role last year. I would occasionally watch students perform pieces and give feedback. This year, I have enjoyed being more involved in helping students put programs together and finding pieces for performance.”
Despite having fun as the newest coach, Williams believes there are stressful aspects to speech due to not having previous experience with coaching.
“This year the most stressful part is not knowing what I’m doing! I have to ask Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Whittington a lot of questions, and I refer to the Iowa High School Speech Association Coaches Manual often!”
Despite the stress, Williams is already excited about her individual speech students’ accomplishments and looks forward to seeing them grow individually in their categories. She believes this to be different from large group speech
“Individual speech takes a certain amount of bravery and risk due to the fact that students are performing on their own,” said Williams. “Large group speech, on the other hand, gives you a group to rely on!”