Advanced Speech Provides Key Presentation Skills


Students in the average English class at Arrowhead conduct one to two speeches in a whole semester. Now imagine having to present in front the class every week. This is what students in Markanos Advanced Speech class have to participate in for the next 18 weeks. Located in room N100 of Arrowhead’s North Campus lies this class unlike any other.

Advanced Speech involves giving speeches every few weeks and learning public speaking skills. students like Junior Sam Evert want to improve their presentation skills and confidence, “I took this class because I’m not very good at public speaking.” Says Evert, “I get very anxious and I need to get out of my comfort zone.”


During school, students participate in this class either by presenting to their peers or by listening and critiquing them.


AHS drama teacher, Maryellen Markano, is the instructor for advanced speech, and according to her it has always been one of her favorites to teach.


“In English ten, everyone has to do speeches and some people really struggle with anxiety,” says Markano, “and my goal in English ten is to just kind of get their feet wet and give them a little exposure.”

“…Advanced Speech I think is unique because it is all speech all the time. So when a student in the course of 18 weeks does seven big speeches and then two or three little speeches along the way, I think the growth is exponential and they really(the students) see it.”


“I think everybody walks out of that class having improved so vastly. There is a new sense of pride and accomplishment that I don’t know everyone walks out of a regular class feeling.”


Junior Michelle Parks, says she enjoys starting the day in Advanced Speech. Parks says, “I really like her energy and how she makes the classroom. Not feel like a classroom and more of like a group of friends. She says she wants the classroom to be a safe environment and I really feel like as a leader of that class room she’s doing a really good job of that.”


Markano says This class seems to be able to keep that atmosphere throughout the years of her teaching it. She says how one of her old classes still keeps in touch way after they took that class. They go out to lunch every few months and catch up.


“They call it Mrs. Markano’s Advanced Speech group,” Markano says. “What I didn’t know from that class was that they didn’t know each other at all when that semester began. But they seemed like best friends the whole time. The cool thing is it happens every semester.”