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Real word applications in the classroom

Pictured right: Rocky Heights Middle School speech students with Jonny Grusing, a former FBI special agent and current Douglas County School District director of safety, who gave a presentation on how public speaking is used in his profession.

Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) speech teacher Regina Luber recently hosted the second, three-day Speaker Series (SS) of the year. Regina is passionate about incorporating real world applications into the classroom. SS has become part of the curriculum for the public speaking course classes at RHMS.

Regina has invited many professionals from a variety of industries to come to speak to her class. The speakers shared their real-world experiences with public speaking and then fielded questions.

“The purpose of the Speaker Series is to expose students enrolled in our speech class to a wide range of professions that utilize public speaking,” Regina stated.

Students prepared for the speakers in advance. They auditioned to become moderators and ambassadors, leadership roles to help facilitate the guest and the speech. Students created digital logos for each speaker (their name, title and company), which were displayed in the background during each of the presentations. Additionally, students researched each speaker, learned a proper handshake, how to introduce the guest, how to ask relevant questions while maintaining eye contact and using a confident voice.

The SS introduced students to a broad array of career options. A list of some of the SS guests included Dori Tilko from the City of Denver; Marissa Harmon, City Council Member and mayoral candidate in Lone Tree; Jonny Grushing, former FBI agent; Mark Schlereth, former NFL offensive lineman and FOX NFL analyst; Garrett Atkins, former Colorado Rockies third baseman; Justin Mattison, owner of The Bikery at the Brewery; Russ Stuzman from Journey Church; evening news anchor Karen Leigh with CBS4 and Matt Mahlman with Lockheed Martin.

Regina brings to the classroom more than 22 years of experience in television news as a segment producer and writer for WB2 which then became FOX31. She transitioned into education when the Douglas County School District called for more substitute teachers in 2020. She is currently in her first year teaching full time.

At the end of the semester, Regina’s students will create their own podcasts, giving them some additional experience in a booming industry where public speaking is paramount.


By Celeste McNeil; photo courtesy of Regina Luber



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