by Danielle Wagner
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) The Iowa High School Speech Association serves 487 schools and 40,000 students. One of those participating schools is Northern University in Cedar Falls.
For the past eight years, one couple has donated their time as coaches.
This year, one of the groups coached by Dave and Linda Schachterle performed at All-State Speech in Ames. All-State is one of the highest honors students can earn through the Iowa High School Speech Association.
NU High Volunteer coaches Dave and Linda Schachterle are one of the keys to success for a choral reading group.
"They are so dedicated," said student Joni Griffith.
The Schachterles began coaching speech about eight years ago when their daughter was in school.
"And we stayed with it. She's been gone for seven years," said Dave and Linda Schachterle.
The Schachterles and the students have worked on the choral reading piece for more than a month.
"It makes the winter pass so quickly. January and February are just gone like that. We call it our winter hobby. It really does gives us something to do in winter," said Linda Schachterle.
During rehearsal, the coaches take notes and give the students tips for improvement. The goal of a choral reading group is to blend voices together to tell a story. Dave Schachterle said you want to create emotion and entertain the audience.
"This is a dream sequence out of the book Crime and Punishment. It's very dark," he said.
The Schachterles don't just coach, they're also set and costume designers.
"Dave made the boxes a couple years ago with the kids, and I made the costumes," said Linda Schachterle.
The students all agree, the choral reading performance wouldn't be what it is without the Schachterles as coaches.
"The biggest thank you to them ever for being with us all these years for bringing in new people, for getting people excited about speech, about theater and making this experience what it is," said Joni Griffith.
Northern University High School sent four groups to All-State Speech last Saturday in Ames. None of those were selected as "best of the best," but that honor did go to Waterloo West's musical theater group.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner