Douglas County forensics students, coaches earn accolades
Three educators were recognized for their excellence as forensics coaches during the state speech festival April 13. Two came from Douglas County.
Superior High School forensics coach Andy Wolfe received the 2019 Lyn Luce Leadership Award. The award was established six years ago to recognize excellence in leadership and service in forensic activities.
Wolfe, an English teacher, is retiring from speech after coaching for 25 years.
"You have given so many young people a voice and a platform to express themselves and to find confidence, and your legacy will be felt for years to come," Wisconsin High School Forensic Association Executive Director Adam Jacobi said.
Northwestern High School forensics coach Pat Luostari, 80, received one of speech's highest honors, the National Federation of State High School Associations Outstanding Speech, Debate and Theatre Educator Award. The retired English teacher is the first Wisconsin recipient of the national award.
Jacobi said he's met many dedicated coaches, but Luostari's 50-plus years of working with students in one of the highest areas of rural poverty in the state "without any intention of stopping" was a testament to her dedication.
"Her philosophy is 'If you worked hard, you learned something and you had fun along the way, you won,'" Jacobi said, quoting a nominator.
Luostari also earned a lifetime achievement educator award in 2016 for her theatre work. She remains the only recipient of the award, which honors tireless dedication and years of participation.
Visit whsfa.org/educator-awards/# to see a video of the coach award ceremony.
More than a dozen SHS students competed at the festival, many for their first time, and earned gold, silver or bronze awards for their work.
Gold: Shea Callaghan, solo acting; Lexi Dembroski, public address; Noah Roe, oratory; Suzie Warring, moments in history.
Silver: Kait Andrs and Katie Correll, playacting; Rae Dunbar, oratory; Armella Lane, prose; Adam LaVine, impromptu; Ailee Miller, oratory; Maggie Sengenberger, informative; Shanna Smith, impromptu; Cassie Stank, special occasion; Dale Summerfield Jr., moments in history.
Bronze: Jacob Anrig, poetry; Ally Avery, oratory; Evaline Britton, informative.
Jaylynn Glaus was a state qualifier in the public address category, but was unable to attend the state meet.
This year's captains were Noah Roe, Rae Dunbar and Ally Avery.