Student Life > Fine Arts
Park Christian School gives students an opportunity to develop public speaking skills and confidence through participation in the Minnesota State High School League Speech Program (MSHSL) and as a member of the National Forensic League (NFL). These skills enable students to communicate Biblical truths from a Christian worldview.
The MSHSL offers thirteen competitive categories, ranging from public speaking to dramatic and humorous interpretation. Students, grades 7-12, meet with coaches during the week for practice and compete in weekly tournaments beginning at the end of January through April. Although a relatively young program, numerous Park students have advanced to the Section and State levels of competition, producing a state champion and state finalists. A full description of categories and rules can be obtained from Mrs. Striker, Park Christian Sixth Grade Teacher, or the MSHSL website at www.mshsl.org/speech.
Mrs. Tracy Striker, Sixth Grade Teacher
Tracy Striker has been teaching for 26 years; 25 of them at Park Christian School teaching 5th and 6th grades. She is also the extra-curricular speech team coach. Mrs. Striker attended a Bible College for two years, then received her Elementary Education degree from MSUM.
Tell a little bit about your family: She and her husband Luther have 2 children; Ryan and Julia. Both children graduated from Park Christian Shool. Now Ryan and his wife Jessica, have their daughter attending Park Christian School.
What was your worst job ever? What was your worst job ever? Cleaning rental trailers for a summer.
Favorite meal? Freshly grilled salmon with steamed vegetables.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Either Texas or Alaska.
Electronic reading device or a real book? Real book, for now.
What do you love most about teaching? Interacting with the students and discussing biblical truths and principles.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Trying new recipes and biking with my family.
What is a favorite memory of Park Christian School? There are many, but a few that come to mind include the classroom pets. Harry the hamster escaped a few times and seemed to like hiding in the copier, since it was warm. A small pet python, named Monty, escaped and was found hiding under a classroom sink. When I was a first year teacher I was talked into keeping a white rat as a classroom pet—that lasted only one year. After that I decided classroom plants are easier to care for and keep track of.
The National Forensic League, founded in 1925, is the nation's largest speech and debate honor society. Presently over 112,000 high school students and 5,000 coaches are active members. Alumni include Oprah Winfrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. The NFL allows Park Christian high school students to participate in two mock Congressional Debate Tournaments, with the opportunity to advance to the NFL national tournament. The third NFL activity is the National Qualifier Tournament, which includes events such as United States and International Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Dramatic, Duo, and Humorous Interpretation. Park Christian has earned charter membership status with the NFL and competed in the national tournament. Students, grades 9-12, who advance to the national tournament, collectively take home more than $200,000 in college scholarships each year. More information is available through their website at www.NationalForensicLeague.org.