Highland Forensics team student takes Bronze prize at nationals

On April 7 through 12, Highland student Jess Heimer of Freeport and his Forensics team coach, Melissa Entzminger attended the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Denver to compete against more than 800 students from community colleges across the nation. Competing in one of the largest categories for Impromptu Speaking, Heimer was awarded the Bronze prize.

Heimer, who is a first year Forensics team member, ended a strenuous season that began in October. He, along with teammates, Angela Lake and Sara Farmer, competed in nine tournaments.

Jess Heimer of Freeport performs an Impromptu speech in a classroom at Highland Community College.

Attaining the level of competition to attend nationals means a lot to Heimer. Coming away with the Bronze prize is a measure of hard work with a payoff. Heimer placed second at state competition in the Extemporaneous speaking. To compete in the Impromptu category, students are given a quotation, and must write and present a five minute speech about it. Heimer's quote was from Mahatma Gandhi.

"I had seven minutes to write my speech and deliver it," Heimer said. "It's a nice reward for the hard work from the season. I feel like I set out to accomplish something, and I did it."

In her first year as coach for Forensics team, Entzminger said, "Competing at nationals is big and for Jess to place that high says a lot about him as a speaker."

Entzminger said Forensics is a good co-curricular activity that can enhance the speaking skills of students. The season runs from October to April. Anyone interested in becoming part of Forensics team for the 2014-2015 academic year can contact Melissa Entzminger at

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

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