Malien Tingpalpong Wins Speech State Championship

Malien Tingpalpong Wins Speech State Championship
Posted on 02/26/2020
Four students on Fenton’s Speech Team earned trips to the state finals this weekend in Peoria, and one came home a state champion. Senior Malien Tingpalpong won 1st place in the Original Oratory category; she gave a persuasive speech regarding the problem with toxic nostalgia.

“I am extremely lucky to have four amazing years of memories on the speech team to be so nostalgic about,” Tingpalpong said. “It has been an absolute honor to work with wonderful, dedicated coaches and warm, welcoming peers. Without their coaching and mentoring, I would have never achieved my freshman year dream of earning Oratory State Champ (feels unreal to say).  

“All the late nights, early mornings, and endless days have taught me my own worth and voice,” Tingpalpong continued. “I owe everything to this weird, crazy, terrifying extracurricular activity. Thank you Fenton Speech for teaching me everything I know.”

Malien Tingpalpong is Fenton’s 3rd speech champion in two years. Before 2019, Fenton did not have a state champion in speech since 1996.

Ms. Nicole Hendricks, Fenton’s Speech Coach, said Malien took 2nd in state two years ago and set a goal to win the championship before she graduated.

“It is absolutely thrilling to help a student truly realize their goals and the partnership Malien and Ms. Feinberg have as student speaker and coach for this event is a perfect match,” Ms. Hendricks said. “We have such talent on our team because they have worked with us consistently for multiple speech seasons and in group interpretation. Consistency and perseverance keep our team strong.”

Talent continues in the Tingpalpong family with Malien’s brother Ien, who in his second year of humorous duet acting, advanced with senior Jesus Amador to take 6th place in state. And Jesus Amador, a three-year member of the speech team, advanced to state for the second time in the original comedy category and earned 4th place this year. 

Sophomore Karissa Lara advanced to state and gave two incredible poetry performances but did not advance to the final round...this year -- she has big goals for next season! 

Out of 70 schools that advanced to the state finals, Fenton placed 11th. Fenton also won the Upstate Eight Conference Championship in our first year as a member of the conference.

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