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home : premium content : news May 26, 2016

4/3/2013 9:35:00 AM
Cascade's Charlotte Massey wins state speech championship
Photo by Ian Dunn
Charlotte Massey
Photo by Ian Dunn Charlotte Massey
Ian Dunn

As part of her championship speech, Charlotte Massey poured a latte on her head to illustrate a point. It must have been a hit with the judges, because the Cascade High School junior won the state championship in expository speaking.

She's been doing speech and debate since last year. Expository speaking has always been her favorite. This is an eight minute informational speech with visual aids.

"I've been doing pretty well during the season. I won a competition that no one from my school had ever made the finals in, the Thomas Foley Tournament in Spokane," said Charlotte Massey. "I made it to the final last year too. This year I won. That was pretty exciting."

There were six meets during the year, so Massey had a chance to really hone her speech, which was on memory techniques or mnemonics. She won the regional competition so went into state with a little momentum.

State was held March 16 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. At State, there is a 4A classification, and then 3A and under, including all the private schools.

"I went into it knowing I had a shot to do well, especially since they split up the divisions 3A and 4A. A lot of people who were really good, who I had been competing against all year, were not in my division," she said.

Each speaker gives their speech a couple times in the morning. The best scoring speakers go to the finals. Then, they do their speech again in front of the judges, who choose the winner. Massey admits she was nervous and freaking out a bit.

"I am more nervous when I think I can do well. I love my speech. I really enjoy giving my expository speech," she said. "I'm nervous, but as soon as I get up there to give my speech, it is just fun."

In her speech about mnemonic devices, she starts out by picking random words out of a bag. Then, she describes a mnemonic device to remember her name, Charlotte, which is split into Char and latte. That is where she pours the latte on her head.

"It was the first time in a long time someone from Cascade has won speech and debate," said Dayle Massey, Charlotte's father and coach.

She got the idea for her speech when she spent seven weeks studying at Havard last summer.

"One of my classes was journalism, so I wrote an article about memory competitions. That was my finals. So interviewed a lot of people who do memory competitions," she said. "I learned a lot about mnemonic devices and how people remember things.

"I thought that was really interesting and cool. I wanted to share that with my speech and debate community. That is how I came up with things in my speech."

While Charlotte enjoyed her time at Harvard, that is but one of the schools to which she applying. Where she is accepted will have a great bering in deciding where she will go, she said. As for taking another crack at expository speaking next year, Char-latte is ready to go.

Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or

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