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The creme de la creme

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN— There was drama at the April meeting of the Clear Creek Amana School Board of Directors meeting on April 18. But it was not the result of discussing enrollment growth options, debating building expansions, or haggling over SILO or PPEL dollars and projects.
It was due to a visit from a pair of Thespians.
Shanea Condon and Gabi Scarpa, with Cynthia Koester, speech team director, gave the board a taste of what they’ve been working on this year in the Drama Department. Koester reported drama students have two seasons: large group and individual competition. Six of 13 large group events moved out of district competition to state at Cedar Rapids Washington High School. Three of those events received the coveted 1 rankings.
Rachel Beckler, Logan Davis, Rachel Henkle, Lauren Judge, Ashley Ives, Lizzie Garvin, Shannon Siders and Whitney Schutterle performed in these highly-rated performances.
Two events earned straight 1 ratings from the judges, with Condon (two events), Derrick Davis, Tessa McRoberts, Jake Kostiv and Jessica Wayson impressing the evaluators with their talent.
In individual competition, 23 events performed at district competition, held at the Meskwaki Settlement School. Seventeen of those events were deemed worthy enough to advance to state. Overall 2 ratings were received by Derrick Davis, Daniel Flaherty, Terryl Bandy, Jessica Wayson and Miles Lucas. One ratings were earned by Reily Barkhoff, Whitney Schutterle and Jake Kostiv.
The elusive straight 1-ratings demonstrating individual excellence, went to Mary Kate Mead (for two events), Barkhoff, Garvin (two events), Scarpa, Condon, Derrick Davis and Logan Davis. Condon and Scarpa earned additional honors, being selected to perform at All-State. For the performing arts students, All-State is on-par with a state tournament appearance. Koester described it as, “the final minutes of the fourth period of the State Basketball Tournament.”
Koester introduced the pair as “the Creme de la Creme” of the Drama Department before the pair gave the board a performance of their events, a persuasive speech for Condon, and a dramatic reading by Scarpa. Condon’s speech dealt with feelings of self-worth, parental abandonment of a child and the importance of love. Emotions nearly overwhelmed Condon as her voice began to quiver and tears ran down her cheeks. Scarpa read an excerpt from a book dealing with life under the Nazi regime. Both held the attention of the board and audience.
Koester praised the many talented students who participate in theatre and drama in the district, and was especially impressed by this year’s crop of freshmen, adding she is eagerly anticipating watching their talents continue to develop.
All-State was held at the University of Northern Iowa on March 26.