Perham Speech team boasts first place win

Senior Beau Johnson will also compete at nationals in June.

Students stand in rows with awards.
The Perham Speech team placed first at the Detroit Lakes Invitational on March 19, 2022.
Contributed / Perham Public Schools

PERHAM — The Perham speech team had an exciting weekend on March 18 and 19.

On Friday, senior Beau Johnson and sophomore Madeleine Lamb spoke at the National Speech and Debate Northern Lights district qualifier hosted at Moorhead Horizon Middle School. They competed against some of the state's best speakers in three preliminary rounds.

Lamb competed in Informative Speaking while sharing about the differences between capitalism and communism and America's economic structure. They set out to do exactly what they wanted — help the audience understand and remember an important part of living in American democracy.

Johnson competed in Dramatic Interpretation with a selection from the play, "Every Brilliant Thing" by Duncan MacMillan. He placed in the top seven, and later qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in June. Johnson and his coaches said his performance was full of "nuanced, authentic emotion" that truly set him apart from his competition.

Student poses with a trophy.
Senior Beau Johnson poses with the Perham speech team's first place trophy from the Detroit Lakes Invitational on March 19, 2022. He will compete at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in the Dramatic Interpretation event in June.
Contributed / Perham Public Schools

The team also placed first in Detroit Lakes on Saturday in the team's last regular season invitational for 2022. The team will now prepare for their first elimination tournament at the Minnesota State High School League Subsection 22A Tournament on April 1.


The following speakers received recognition in Detroit Lakes:

  • Creative Expression: Ewan Brandvold (7th grade)— 1st ; Shippee (11th grade)— 2nd
  • Discussion: Jaxon Bain (10th grade)— 3rd ; Maddox Wagner (8th grade)— Excellent
  • Drama: Andrea Guajardo (12th grade)— Excellent
  • Duo: Faith Kalina and Tessa Starzl (7th grade)— 1st
  • Extemp Reading: Molly Pearson (11th grade)— Excellent
  • Great Speeches: Natalie Tusow (9th grade)— 3rd ; Brynn Greisen (11th grade)— 2nd
  • Informative: H. Frost (11th grade)— Excellent ; Daisy Loerzel (7th grade)— Excellent ; Madeleine Lamb (10th grade)— 2nd ; Anya Roe (12th grade)— 1st
  • Original Oratory: Clodarl Seeman (8th grade)— Excellent
  • Poetry: Haven Roth (11th grade)— Excellent ; Madeleine Lamb (10th grade)— 3rd ; Roman Guajardo (10th grade)— 1st
  • Prose: Ella Hendrickson (7th grade)— Excellent
  • Storytelling: Josh Kalina (10th grade)— 2nd
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