Approximately 150 Decorah High School students participated in the Northeast State Large Group Speech Contest hosted at Decorah High School on February 5. DHS speech students are coached by Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, Molly Holkesvik, Carrie Kauffman, Gabriel Twedt, and Lyra McKnight.

Judges at the state contest selected eight of Decorah High School students’ performances as outstanding; these performances are honored with the coveted All-State Speech nomination. The DHS students comprising these groups will travel to the Iowa State University campus in Ames to perform at the All-State Festival on Saturday, February 19th. Complete results and programs can be found on the IHSSA website at

The directors shared, “We are so deeply proud of the work, time, and excitement these students bring to the speech program. They set the bar high every year, and it is a privilege to help them meet their goals. We continue to look forward to the rest of the speech year with individual speech already in progress.”

DHS speech groups receiving a nomination as an All-State Honoree include one readers theater, one solo mime, one group mime, one musical theater, one radio broadcasting, two television news, and a short film. 

Cast lists for those groups performing at the All-State Festival are as follows:

Readers Theater “Puffs” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. 

Participants include Brielle Buresh, Karen Henriquez, Rebecca Anderson, Junior Battle, Michael Njus, Carter Kowitz, Sydney Kipp, Jensen Korsness, Anders Lovstuen, Ramsey Zilka, Abbie Valkosky, Henry Weis, Nadia Johnson, and Bella Bishop.


Solo Mime “Steaming Hot” by Rebecca Anderson was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Gabe Twedt, and Carrie Kauffman            

Group Mime “The Daydream” was directed by Molly Holkesvik, Carrie Kauffman, and Lyra McKnight.

Participants include Leslie Campbell, Liz Clement, Sally Laybourn, Hayley Stowe, and Grace Neal.

Musical Theater “Hadestown” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman.

Participants include Haywood Stowe, Drew Chamberlain, Ada Lovelace, Alex Kane, Nolan Jacobson, and Dylan Muhlbauer.

Radio Broadcasting “KCTS” was directed by Gabe Twedt and Carrie Kauffman. 

Participants include Drew Berns, Morgan Dlhy, August Witt, Sylvia Sandhorst, and Nat Roberts.

TV News “Iowa Adventures: Haunted Road Trip” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabe Twedt.

Participants include Brynn Storhoff, Sophia Christman, Paige Lange, Braunwyn Darrington, Kailyn O’Gara, Annaleissa Arnold, Simon Kutz, Caden Branum, Chloe Chyle, Bella Bishop, Easton Luzum, Thea Schissel, and Paige Werner.

TV News “Breaking Barriers” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabe Twedt. 

Participants include Evynne Downing, Natalie Goodner, Leah Holland, Annika Keefe, Caleb Krieg, Andy Kruger, Beau Newhouse, Kamryn Steines, Amelia Wadsworth, Margret Zook, Chloe Sheffield, Maran Martin, and Rylin Sibley.

Short Film “Until You Can’t” was directed by Molly Holkesvik and Lyra McKnight. 

Participants include Koryn Bakken, Drew Berns, Brielle Buresh, Drew Chamberlain, Liz Clement, Annika Franzen, Mara Holland, Wyatt Hackman, Ellie Luzum, August Witt, Amelia Dugger, Landan Folkedahl, Anya Lovstuen, and Elizabeth Pritchard.