Senior qualifies for nationals

Senior Josh Stoner qualifies for nationals and wins the NSAA State Speech Competition in Entertainment.

Jonathan Dekleva, Spotlight Editor

Senior Josh Stoner during his entertainment speech that won the NSAA State Speech Competition. (Jonathan Dekleva)

Senior Josh Stoner placed first in entertainment speaking at the Nebraska State Activities Association (NSAA) Speech Contest held at North Platte High School on March 20. Entertainment is an event where the speaker has to perform a humorous 8-minute speech with visual aids . 

Stoner has also qualified for the National Forensic League Championships this summer in extemporaneous speaking, but recently won the NSAA State Speech Meet. His championship speech was about being an ‘extemper’, and why these extempers are so different from other speech participants.

The bond that extempers form is important to Stoner. “We sort of are weird,” he said. “We act weirdly but it’s more of a family and an internal bond.”

He said the other competitors are accepting of his authenticity. “I can come in and be myself, and I don’t feel like I’m going to be judged by them,” he said. “They’ll accept me for me. I don’t have to be some fake person.”

Stoner said speech and debate have shaped who he is as a person. “It’s taught me valuable lessons like how to work underneath pressure,” he said. “It’s taught me a lot about myself from who

Senior Josh Stoner declares that since he is an extemper, his hairline must recede. (Jonathan Dekleva)

I am, how I work and what kind of things I like in life.”

Stoner said those bonds last beyond school years. “There’s previous extempers that I still talk to, to this day, that graduated over three years ago and it’s an everlasting bond and friendship that is never broken,” he said.