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Episode 16: Saga McAllister and Ashley Schulz Get to the Heart of Interpretation

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Cheyenne East High School interpretative superstars, Coach Ashley Schulz and competitor (and recent graduate) Saga McAllister, joined me on the One Clap Podcast to chat about Humor, finding the true heart of interpretative pieces, nailing a great online recorded performance, car dancing, the serious discrepancy between coach and student food privileges at tournaments, and much more.


I had the opportunity to learn from two interpretative masters from Cheyenne East High School - Coach Ashley Schulz and senior competitor Saga McAllister.

Ashley has been at Cheyenne East for a long time both as a competitor and a coach - now for over twenty years. Ashley has coached a number of excellent competitors, among them State Champions, National Finalists, even a National Champion. One Cheyenne East colleague said about Ashley, “She gives as much care and attention to a brand-new novice as she does to a veteran competitor, and she’s always looking to better herself, or find some new way to help kids on the team.” She’s also, as we learn in the interview, a leader in the field of “car dancing.” I saw her moves. They were legit.

Saga competed for the Cheyenne East Speech and Debate Team for three years, and qualified for Nationals all three years. She’ll be competing in POI next week at the National Tournament. Saga was a finalist at MASQ this year with her fabulous poetry piece. She earned a coveted Wyoming High School Forensics Ambassador Award for her commitment to the Speech and Debate community. Saga is impressive in many ways, but as her coaches wrote about her in her nomination letter for the ambassador award, “What makes Saga stand out from all the talented and kind students in the speech world, is her passion for the activity. For Saga, the trophies are nice, but she truly is an advocate for issues that she cares about.”

After geeking out together a bit, Ashley and Saga shared their Speech and Debate stories, talked about the popularity of Humor, discussed ways to get to the heart of an interpretative piece, shared the importance of mentorship and community, and talked about different approaches to online recorded events.

Thanks so much again to Ashley and Saga for sharing so much time, such excellent perspective, and such good vibes. I learned so much from these two talented Thunderbirds!


I stand by the NSDA statement on George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. I read the statement in full on this episode of the podcast. It is located HERE.


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