Curry recognized with NFHS Outstanding State Speech Educator Award
Posted: Monday, November 28, 2022 - 10:01 AM
In the classroom and through co-curricular Fine Arts activities, Melrose High School educator Mikayla Curry has made a long-lasting positive impact on students.
Whether it is creating speaking and acting classes at the elementary school level, building Speech and Debate programs at Morris Area and Melrose Area high schools, respectively, or serving as a mentor for Fine Arts leaders, Curry’s unwavering guidance and initiatives have created opportunities for a multitude of students.
For her service, Curry, who also is a Minnesota State High School League adjudicator, has been selected Minnesota’s recipient of the National Federation of State High School Associations Outstanding State Educator Award for Speech and Debate.
“About the only thing more incredible than Mikayla’s coaching abilities and service to speech in Minnesota, is her commitment to her classroom students,” said Amy Doherty, a League Assistant Director that administers Speech, Debate and One Act Play. “I’ve been in Mikayla’s classroom and seen her work with students. Her care is evident to everyone, and all of her students are engaged. She is the type of person you want to teach your children; she cares, she reaches students and helps them grow. Mikayla is an outstanding person, coach and educator. She exemplifies what it means to be an Outstanding Speech Educator in Minnesota.”
While Curry’s imprint on Speech and Debate began in Central Minnesota, it has blossomed to competitive success at League state tournament events as well as leadership roles that have helped to guide and shape the direction of Fine Arts activities.
Curry, a 2010 graduate of St. Cloud State University, spent the first four years of her teaching career at Morris Area High School. She took a program that had 14 participants when she arrived to more than 40 in her first year. At Morris, she coached 13 state participants and six state finalists. In 2016, she transitioned to Melrose Area High School. She has advanced 52 participants to the state tournament with 30 finalists, three individual state champions and Class A team championships in 2019 and 2022.
For the past five years over the summer, Curry created and directs a Speech camp for third through sixth-grade students. The camp curriculum introduces the 13 categories used in the League special competition. The initiative has stimulated growth and raised the expectation level for incoming seventh graders as they prepare to participate in League activities.
Among many leadership roles, she has served as the Region 5A Fine Arts Representative, served on the Communications and Theatre Arts of Minnesota Board of Governors and is a mentor with the Minnesota Speech Coaches Association.
The League congratulates Curry on her national recognition and thanks her for bringing the gift of the Fine Arts to her students, the community and the League’s member schools.