Wa-Hi Debate Team contestant a state champ


Walla Walla High School Debate Team sophomore Anna Apostoldis-Morefield garnered the Washington State Individual Events Tournament championship in 4A expository speaking in mid-March.

This is Anna’s second year in a row in finals at state, said her coach, Jean Tobin. In expository speaking, students must write and memorize an 8-minute informative speech.

Anna’s topic, addressing the origins of the English language, has received rave reviews all year, Jean said.

This event has been quite competitive in the district this year with three of the top four expository speeches in the state came from this district, Jean said.

Altogether, 20 Wa-Hi students competed.

In addition, senior Marisol Beck placed third in the state 4A original oratory category. “Hope Grant-Herriot won this event last year, so clearly Wa-Hi is establishing a presence in this event,” Jean said.

She described Original Oratory as difficult. Students write and memorize a persuasive speech. “Marisol gave a powerful speech about the importance and benefits of ‘coming out of the closet’ with our personal ‘secrets’ — small ones and big ones.” This is Marisol’s first year in finals at state.

“In the four years that we have had a speech and debate program at Wa-Hi we have had two state champions — an impressive accomplishment. I am very proud of how hard these two students worked this year, starting in September, to meet their goal — they both knew they wanted to be in state finals and have never lost sight of that goal,” Jean said.

Jean cited Annie Capestany, Marisol’s mother, as being instrumental in helping both students. She also aided Jean in editing and suggesting revisions for their speeches and offered suggestions throughout the year on how to modify their performances.

A group of six Wa-Hi students is slated to compete in the State Debate tournament in Tacoma in four events. “We qualified more students in more events than any other school in our District,” Jean said.

“In the past we have not ‘broken’ (sent) any teams/competitors into out rounds at State Debate — hopefully this year will be different.”

American Association of University Women has raised funds since its inception in 1881 to further the contributions of womankind by providing a gram of radium for Marie Curie, getting Jewish women scientists out of Nazi Germany, aiding in women workers’ rights and promoting advanced education for women for more than a century through grants and scholarships.

AAUW Walla Walla Branch has been part of the conversation since it was chartered in 1921. And Walla Wallan Betty Maland has participated in it for 51 years now, the longest of any of its members here, said fellow member Karen Peddicord.

An entrepreneur, Betty and husband of nearly half a century Dusty Maland co-own Dusty’s Ski and Snowboard Shop, 1509 E. Isaacs Ave. They’ve owned several such stores over time.

Betty joined AAUW, not because of its philanthropic mission, but rather to meet new and interesting women.

At that time, “most women were considered successful if they got married and had 2.5 children,” Betty told Karen. That was back when John F. Kennedy was U.S. president. She characterizes herself “as a bridge between the tidy homemaker and the liberal housekeeper.”

She earned a business education degree in 1962 from the University of Oregon and joined AAUW.

Early on, the organization offered women the opportunity to discuss intellectual topics, such as politics. Betty joined because she had a degree.

“For a change, nothing else mattered: not her marital status, the number of children she did or did not have, her ethnicity, etc., just that she was an educated woman, and that was very enticing to her,” Karen noted in a profile for her group.

Betty was a member-at-large until they moved to Walla Walla. “Then Mary Patton and Doris Jacky literally dragged her to the meetings. In the early ’60s, Betty said teachers were encouraged to join as a way of validating, or perhaps showing off, their education.”

While living in snow powder country to accommodate Dusty’s passion, she was an administrative secretary at Western State College in Dennison, Colo. She was also a high school business education teacher for two years and moved irrigation pipe and unloaded hay trucks when her husband farmed.

“The first professional advice I received was ‘don’t rock the boat’ and ‘shut up!’”

“Life brings some interesting things to you,” Betty said. She brought up three sons, substitute taught and served in various offices and responsible positions with AAUW, and boards with the symphony and its guild, Allied Arts Council and county extension homemakers.

“Then, as business machines changed, so did Betty, teaching keyboarding and introduction to computers at Blue Mountain Community College. She subs on occasion at Walla Walla High School.

Her branch has had Betty’s service as president and with local and state membership. It expanded to include those who have earned two-year degrees.

“I guess allowing AA degrees now is necessary to keep the organization alive,” she said. In her day, “women were willing to put their lives on the line so we could move ahead this much. We can be educated and very smart, but we also need to connect and be social.”

She likes AAUW’s evolution to offer programs that support women with scholarships and in other areas.

And Betty hasn’t slowed down much. The breast cancer survivor recently broke her ankle slipping on ice while fetching medication for her mother.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.


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