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Valley Earns IHSSA Sweepstakes Award

The Valley drama team has been honored with the IHSSA All-State Festival’s E. Wayne Cooley Sweepstakes Award, given annually to the school with the most entries in the competition. Valley’s 20 all-state entries, coached by drama director Stacy Hansen, set not only a school record, but a state record.

Each school in the state is allowed to enter up to 23 performances into competition. Valley set a record earlier this year by having all 23 of its district entries advance to state competition.

Another school record was set as three Critic’s Choice Awards were earned at all-state competition in radio news (Cooper Christensen, Jaclyn Warden, Elizabeth Reed and Sarah Phillips, director Glen Biermann and Jake Wheeler), group improvisational acting (Hira Mustafa and Grady Stein, directed by Joe Van Haecke) and musical theatre (Sam Cohrs, Emma Stier, Brandon Devine, Nicole Miller, Abby Hudson, Kara Masteller and Allison Streck, directed by Megan Helmers and Brianne Magel).

The Critic’s Choice Award is given in each category to the group the critic feels best exemplifies that category. The critic in radio broadcasting was Jason Parkin, KCWI, TV Des Moines; improvisational acting critic was Steve Hydeen, 88improv, Council Bluffs; and musical theatre critic was Mike Peitz, IHSSA Hall of Fame, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Walnut Creek Campus junior Gabe Mason, coached by WCC teacher Ted Vandeventer, also advanced to all-state in the solo mime category.