If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

Speech and Debate, Jenna Reece


Speech and Debate intep captain Jenna Reece (middle), speaking captain Jesus Trevino (left), and debate captain Nick Serve (right) help their team win team championship in Colorado Springs

Shelby Pride

You don’t always get things right on the first try. It’s easy to get confused, and it’s hard to find yourself in the world that is high school. This is where speech and debate came in for interp Speech and Debate Captain, Jenna Reece.

“When Jenna joined as a freshman she was shy, flighty, she wouldn’t do stop-starts [A way to practice your piece by stopping to critique then continuing the piece] she wouldn’t let anybody see her performances, and she had bad duo partners,” said Danielle Lopez, the speech and debate coach. “My first year in speech was rough,” said Reece. She wasn’t well-versed in the events, floated around, and didn’t know what to wear, later on, Jenna gained better knowledge of these things, but only in her sophomore year. Her first-ever speech event that she did was in Dramatic Interpretation; her piece was on suicide, and it was called Say Nothing. “I didn’t know how to act with it,” said Reece. Reece struggled relentlessly in her first year and tended to be feisty.

“My second year of speech was when everything was online,” said Reece. In that year she made it to Nationals in Duo Interpretation, but then her partner canceled at the last minute. After that she quit duo interpretation, and only continued it at DND (desserts and diversions, a fund raiser for Speech and Debate) where she had hesitantly preformed “The Brothers Grim”, which turned out to be a huge success. 

However, “The third year was rough, there was only drama,” said Reece. “My interp captain tried to get her kicked off of the speech and debate team,” said Reece, “he told me that my POI wasn’t going to go far.” 

“In her junior year, she had struggled with somebody on the team, but the struggle was that the other person was a diva and Jenna was the only one that was really combating that,” said Lopez

“My fourth year was the best. My interp got better, I got to teach the interp babies to love each other. I consistently placed well, and taught the interp kids to be more worried about each other than themselves.” 

“She got better every single year, when she turned into a senior she wanted leadership but based off of how she was as a freshman and the controversy the year before I wasn’t sure if she was the right one. But immediately starting her senior year she started leading without me asking Jenna came out her senior year and from the very beginning my favorite thing about her is how she adopted her babies and she cared for them, and she practiced so much, making them be better even if it meant that they were gonna beat her, which they didn’t often beat her. But she loved the kids she was coaching and it made me very proud of her,” said Lopez.

In most meets Jenna placed first in Program of Oral Interpretation with her piece The Pink House at the Center of the World which is formed around the overturning of Roe v Wade. Her favorite part of speech was competing, and she proved to be amazing at it. There’s never been a meet she hasn’t placed in her senior year. 

“She led the way to our interp sweeps with her influence and willingness to get out there and make everyone around her better, even if it meant she might not shine. The perfect point is at state she did drama fully knowing her stepping out of POI might result in her teammates doing well and that’s what happened. So she placed second at state in drama but because she wasn’t in POI, I can’t say how it actually would have shaken out, but she cleared the way for Shayla [Shayla Curtis, a junior that does both POI and Humor] to win state champ, and I know that was hard for her but in the end, she loves Shayla and was proud of Shayla,” said Lopez.

“Speech was where I found myself, and met some of the best people in my entire life. It’s something I’m really gonna miss, getting on a bus at 3 am, waking up at 2 am, the nerves you get when wondering if you’re gonna get called up to the stage or not, screaming with my team until we almost pass out, I’m gonna miss it all,” said Jenna in regards to how speech has impacted her life. 

“She’s had such a great impact on our team, I honestly don’t know what we would do without her. She always makes it fun, she always encourages us. It was fun having her as our interp captain this year” said Jasmin Saenz, a freshman in the interpretive field of speech and debate. 

“Jenna was able to completely overhaul and modernize the interp students, we used to be an incredibly debate-centered team, and to an extent we still are, but now we have the inclusion of interp events,” said Jesus Trevino, a senior and speaking captain on the speech team. 

Reece was an amazing friend and an even better interp captain, we were so lucky to have you, Jenna.