SPEAK 2015 will be the first year of the SPEAK Locally initiative, which will rotate year-to-year with the annual conference.
See the link to the left for more information.
Stay tuned for dates and locations of the regional mini-conferences.
In 2008, after seeing a drop in participation numbers at the KHSSL
State Tournament, a group of Kentucky's most active high school
speech and debate coaches met during the Kentucky National
Forensic League District Tournament's first round. As a result of
that meeting, SPEAK first organized in 2008 in Nicholasville courtesy
of a grant from the National Forensic League. Plymouth High
School (Indiana) coach David McKenzie was the keynote speaker at
this event. Krista Kohl, Jim Combs, Erika Stevens, Rachel Page,
Molly Seifert, and Steve Meadows were the officers elected at the
meeting or thereafter.
Over the next three years, SPEAK produced an informational
brochure and had an officers' meeting while continuing to encourage speech education statewide. In 2011, the Kentucky National Forensic League absorbed SPEAK into its outreach program and asked the Kentucky High School Speech League, the Kentucky Educational Speech and Drama Association, and the Kentucky Catholic Forensic League to co-sponsor the first SPEAK Conference -- the Speech Professional Education Alliance of Kentucky. With the support of Dr. Deanna Sellnow and the Division of Instructional Communication at the University of
Kentucky, SPEAK 2011 became a reality with 75 attendees and
high praise from all involved. SPEAK is now an annual event sponsored by KYNFL and co-sponsored by KHSSL, KESDA, and KCFL. Its goal is simple --excellence in speech education for all.