For some, forensics may mean something associated with the work done on shows like “CSI,” but for Kathy Shroyer, Greensburg Community High School teacher and speech coach, it means something entirely different.
At the Indiana High School Forensics Association’s (IHSFA) annual workshop, held at the beginning of September, Shroyer was inducted into their Hall of Fame for her years of service to the association and her students. The award came as a complete surprise.
“I had no idea until they called my name at the banquet,” she said. “(GCHS principal) Phil Chapple, who went as one of three principals representing southeastern Indiana, knew too before hand and didn’t tell me.”
Shroyer has a long history with the association and speech teams in general. Nominated in secret by someone already in the Hall, Shroyer was credited with a long list of accolades that won her name a spot on the plaque.
She spent 13 years as a coach after forming Greensburg’s team in 1996. She also was cited for “fostering speech programs in many other schools” as well as running both the state debate and state speech meets. Shroyer has also be a 10-year member and officer of the executive council of the IHSFA. She currently holds the title of treasurer.
“I’ve had a pretty good hand in all of it over the years,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of fun doing it, too.”
Shroyer has enjoyed working with the association and said she is amazed by how the state’s program has grown to be one of the most respected in the nation.
“As far as speech and debate is concerned, Indiana is considered a major powerhouse in the nation. We always send students to the national competition and they usually place very highly in the competition,” she said.
Shroyer hopes she has played a role in that success, but moreover, she hopes she has made a difference in her students’ lives through the speech program.
“I think it’s really good for kids. It helps them learn how to properly address the public and conduct themselves during interviews,” she said. “Whatever they’re doing, it really makes a difference.”
Shroyer accepted the award graciously with two other speech coaches, Holly Hathaway of Connersville and Jane Nelson of Plymouth. In her speech, Shroyer acknowledged the heavy impact her speech coach, Lara McDowell of Twin Lakes High School, had on her. McDowell was a charter member of the IHSFA and her name shares a place with Shroyer’s on the plaque.
Now that the banquet is over, Shroyer took her plaque back to the high school and hung it temporarily over the chalkboard.
“I’ll probably hang it near my other speech trophies and awards someday,” she said. “It really is a great honor.”
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