PACT Speech Heads to State


By Christal Ruppert
April 18, 2023 | 5 p.m.


Four PACT students are advancing to the MSHSL State Speech Tournament following top finishes at the Section 4A tournament on Friday, April 14, leading the PACT Speech team to a second-place team finish in the section at large. 

Olivia Bailey ‘23 returns to the state tournament for her third consecutive year following a first-place section finish in Storytelling. While she spent much of the 2023 season double-entered in Duo with Raegan Anderson ‘24 with admirable success, Bailey has competed individually for the last five years in Storytelling, a category that allows her to showcase her formidable improvisation skills and sense of humor. Her impressive work ethic, leadership, positive attitude, and talent has raised the bar for the entire team throughout her speech career. She has section medals from each of the last five years (except 2020, when the section tournament was canceled); this is her second first-place section medal. Her impressive repertoire also includes second place at the 2022 state tournament. 

Returning to the state tournament for her second consecutive year is Lucia Kerkes ‘23. This is Kerkes’s fourth year on the team and in the category of Prose; she, too, has competed in section finals each year (except 2020, when the section tournament was canceled). After taking home sixth place in the 2022 state tournament, Kerkes has had a strong 2023 season, starting with a first-place medal at the Maple Grove Invitational and ending with a third-place finish at the 2023 section tournament. Kerkes’s incredible leadership, consistency, and work ethic have been an integral part of the team’s success and growth throughout her four years on the team. As a team captain for her second consecutive year, Kerkes has spent countless hours researching and honing her own piece, in addition to helping teammates at practices and organizing team events. 

Matthew Phillips ‘23 will be competing at the state tournament in the category of Extemporaneous Reading, a draw category in which one selects at random a different short story to perform each round. This is Phillips’s fourth year on the team and his fifth category, having competed in Humorous, Duo, Poetry, and Drama in seasons past. This is his first state appearance. 

After barely missing state qualification in 2022, Fenani Ahmed ‘24 brought home a third-place section medal and a trip to state this year. This is Ahmed’s first year as a team captain and her second year in Creative Expression, a category in which the speaker writes and performs his or her own interpretive piece. Though many competitors choose to write humorous pieces and/or in prose style, Ahmed has moved audiences all season with her original serious poetry. She, too, has played a crucial role in helping the team prepare and improve their pieces this season. 

Seventeen PACT students competed in the section tournament, with eight students breaking into the final round of competition. Though four students who broke finals did not advance to state, their finals performances contributed to the team’s overall points, placing the team in the second-place position in the section. This is PACT Speech’s first section team trophy. 

The state tournament will be held at Eastview High School in Apple Valley on Saturday, April 29. Rounds begin at 10:15 a.m. and are free and open to the public. Follow the team and results on the PACT Speech Facebook page

Contact Us

PACT Charter School | District Offices
7250 East Ramsey Parkway NW
Ramsey, MN 55303 

PACT Charter School | Elementary Campus
7250 East Ramsey Parkway NW
Ramsey, MN 55303 

PACT Charter School | Secondary Campus
7729 - 161st Avenue Northwest
Ramsey, MN 55303 

Main phone line: 763-712-4200
Fax: 763-712-4201



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