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

Woman comes forward about encounter with ex-Lt Gov

She said she decided to come forward now because of harassment she said her teenage daughter faces.

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
                                Student housing at the University of Alaska Southeast is limited to 50% capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic, and enrollment is down university-wide according to UA Interim President Pat Pitney. That means a reduction in tuition revenue on top of cuts from the state but Pitney said UA’s finances aren’t as bad as projected. Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.
Pitney wants to bring certainty back to UA

‘A merger is not being considered.’

Cosmic Cannabis Company sits ready for customers on East Bunnell Avenue in Old Town on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer’s second marijuana retail store opens

Cosmic Cannabis Company to hold grand opening in Old Town

Terry Yager, left, poses with new Kachemak Group Realty owner Valerie Buss, far right, and her husband, Bryce Buss, center, on Tuesday, Sept, 15. 2020, at the agency’s office on West Pioneer Avenue in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Homer raised woman buys Kachemak Group

Homer raised woman, Valerie Buss, returns and buys Kachemak Group

A sign by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center shows where to vote on Aug. 21, 2018, for the Diamond Ridge, Homer, Alaska, precinct. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Candidates make their cases for local public office

Change starts at home — that’s why the Homer News reached out… Continue reading

Raymond Walker. (Photo courtesy Raymond Walker)
Candidate QA: Raymond Walker

Longtime Homer resident and first time political hopeful Raymond Walker has added… Continue reading

Candidate Q&A: Caroline Venuti

Current Homer City Council Member Caroline Venuti is seeking to repeat her… Continue reading

Candidate Q&A: Rachel Lord

Current Homer City Council member Rachel Lord is looking to continue her… Continue reading

Candidate Q&A: George Hall

Political newcomer and Homer resident George Hall has thrown his hat in… Continue reading

Most Read