The Moraine Valley Community College Speech Team finished a successful semester that included earning top awards at tournaments along with numerous individual medals and creating a new tournament named in honor of a college dean who has provided an abundance of support for the team.

The new tournament, which Moraine Valley co-hosted at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, has been named the Dr. Walter Fronczek Tournament, honoring the dean of Liberal Arts. “Most speech tournaments have a name or a theme associated with them,” said John Nash, head coach. “Without hesitation, I thought to name our half of the tournament after Dean Fronczek. He goes above and beyond helping the team and has been a champion of the Speech Team for years. Although we have thanked Dean Fronczek over the years, we thought naming a tournament after him would create an annual reminder for generations to come of just how integral he was, is and will be to this activity.”

As a longtime supporter of the team, Fronczek was deeply moved by the team’s gesture.

“I was stunned and honored to find out the new speech tournament we host was named after me,” he said. “I have worked with the Speech Team since I started at the college and have seen what a great impact this program has had on our students, who perform at such a high level because of their enthusiasm for the program and our excellent coaching staff at the college. John Nash always gives our students 100 percent, and it shows in the students’ performances.”

Season performances included an overall first place trophy from one of the final tournaments of the season hosted at Highland Community College. Individual awards were earned by:

  • Moises Bello, of Chicago, second place in Informative Speaking; fifth place in Radio; sixth place in Poetry Interpretation
  • Ethan Gallant, of Chicago Ridge, first place in Speech to Entertain, sixth place in Radio, second place in Persuasive Speaking
  • David Ward, of Oak Lawn, sixth place in Speech to Entertain, fourth place in Prose Interpretation, second place in Duo Interpretation
  • Abby Hanrahan, of Palos Heights, first place in Extemporaneous Speaking; first place in Debate; fourth place in Impromptu Speaking
  • Destiny Patino, of Chicago, first place in Program of Interpretation; fourth place in Persuasive Speaking
  • Jennifer Gutierrez, of Bridgeview, first place in Prose Interpretation, second place in Program of Interpretation; sixth place in Communication Analysis
  • Natalie Jurcik, of Bridgeview, first place in Radio; sixth place in Program of Interpretation, second place in Communication Analysis; fifth place in Persuasive Speaking
  • Megan Kozik, of Oak Lawn, sixth place in Program of Interpretation
  • Julian Camacho, of Oak Lawn, first place in Persuasive Speaking; second place in Duo Interpretation

Team members also won medals at the Northwestern University tournament, where Moraine Valley was the only two-year school among the four-year universities competing. Medals were earned by Jurcik, third place in Communication Analysis; Hanrahan, first place in Impromptu Speaking and second place in Extemporaneous Speaking; and Bello, sixth place in Impromptu Speaking.

The team’s new season kicks off in January with tournaments at the College of DuPage and Harper College before state, regional and national tournaments.