Kasey Wacker, speech therapy teacher and head coach at Perham High School, has been named the 2020 Minnesota Speech Coaches Association Class A Coach of the Year.
Wacker was a speech coach from 2009 to 2013 and from 2017 to the present day. She coached at New York Mills from 2013 to 2017. “It was quite an honor to be selected,” Wacker said of the 2020 Class A Coach of the Year name. section of its subsection, 22 A, to be one of the eight featured for honor in its class.
“For me to be selected among these eight coaches and to receive this honor is quite remarkable,” said Wacker. “I feel honored for this. I guess a lot of what separated me this year from previous years is that this year was my first year as the face of the MSCA as president of the Minnesota Speech Coaches Association.
Wacker said that as the president of the state association, she was able to communicate with other coaches in ways that others could not, as she could organize online meetings for the ‘association.
Wacker said the state association would normally have met in person at the state tournament and again in the fall when it also hosts its Class Coach of the Year awards banquet. However, like everything else in 2020, the meetings and awards were held virtually this year. She said the awards arrive later in the mail after the virtual ceremony.
The speech tournaments are being held with the help of the Minnesota State High School League, however, the speech is not limited to the same practice resection that sports are by the league, Wacker said. “As a speech coach you know you’re still a speech coach, you never really stop being,” she said. So when the speech season was cut short in March, the state association’s coaches did what they could to organize online tournaments for all students in the state, whether their coach was a member or not of the association.
“I think it offered some closure for a lot of the students and coaches,” Wacker said. “But it was still not the end of our season. Nothing really beats the state tournament.