From left to right: Eleanor Sweeney, Theo Castellani, coach Hilary Brant, Asa Panarelli, Larry Dunn and Katarina Hockema pose after the Drama, Debate and Forensics State Championship held Feb. 22-24, 2019 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Hilary Brant)

From left to right: Eleanor Sweeney, Theo Castellani, coach Hilary Brant, Asa Panarelli, Larry Dunn and Katarina Hockema pose after the Drama, Debate and Forensics State Championship held Feb. 22-24, 2019 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Hilary Brant)

Homer students place at Drama, Debate and Forensics state competition

Students from Homer High School had a successful weekend of competition last weekend at the Drama, Debate and Forensics State Championship in Anchorage.

The Homer team sent five students to the competition that spanned Feb. 22-24. Theo Castellani, Asa Panarelli, Katarina Hockema, Larry Dunn and Eleanor Sweeney all had their moments on stage. Panarelli and Castellani took second place in the state for the Duet category, which is a drama event, according to Coach Hilary Brant.

Homer placed third overall as a team for its district in the Drama Sweepstakes award.

Brant said in an email that Dunn and Castellani also took first place in the Public Forum Debate at a meet earlier this month in Anchorage.

“This is especially meaningful and exciting because a Homer team had not placed first in this category for almost (five) years,” she wrote.

This is Brant’s first year as the coach for Homer’s team. At a meet held in December 2018 at Homer High School, she said it was her own participation in high school and college DDF that inspired her to take the job.

“I don’t know what I would have done in high school without this … as an outlet,” she said. “I’ve just always wanted to give back.”

Brant said DDF is an important addition to Homer interscholastic activities, since not all students join sports, but still deserve something that gives them a sense of belonging.

“I think it makes them feel more comfortable in their skin, it helps them build confidence,” she said. “It helps them build public speaking, which of course is a tool that you develop and then use later in life.”

She said the activity is instrumental in building social skills and helping to form friendships.

“It’s a place to feel comfortable in,” Brant said. “To try things that you normally wouldn’t try elsewhere.”

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

More in News

photos by Peter Segall | Juneau Empire
                                The MV Matanuska tied up at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal on Thursday.
Lawmakers: Ferries will struggle even with small cash infusion

Recent funding just scratches surface of needs.

photo by Peter Segall | Juneau Empire
                                Katie Oliver, left, and Judy Carstens of the Kodiak Island Borough School District Board of Education give testimony Monday to the Senate Education Committee at the Alaska State Capitol.
Schools are holding fast in a time of deep cuts

There’s more to education than schools.

Fire destroys East End Road boat shop

An early morning fire on Valentine’s Day completely destroyed a commercial boat… Continue reading

Seawatch: Most halibut quotas set lower

The International Pacific Halibut Commission wrapped up its meeting in Anchorage last… Continue reading

Susitna River sockeye delisted as stock of yield concern

The stock was designated after missing its sustainable escapement goal 5 years in a row.

Halibut charters get new regulations

The guided halibut charter fleet for Area 3A, including Homer, had its… Continue reading

Community talk to be held on missing Homer woman

A community conversation will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at the… Continue reading

Paul Banks celebrates annual reading challenge

As schools across the state seek ways to entice their young students… Continue reading

Ninilchik Fire Chief David Bear moves the fire truck out of the new Ninilchik Emergency Services building on Aug. 9, 2014, to make room for visitors to the open house of the new NES building. (Homer News file photo)
Ninilchik Emergency Services chief, assistant chief reinstated

Former board has resigned and been replaced, and department is back to normal staffing

Most Read