Roseville-Little Canada Review people - published July 26, 2016

Jessica Fedje and Alyssa Wilhelm

Alyssa Wilhelm, a 2016 graduate from Roseville Area High School, took her passion for speech and not only got national recognition of her skills, but earned a college scholarship as well. In June, Wilhelm traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to compete in the National Forensic Speech Tournament. Some 250 students from across the nation show up for the week-long tournament, for which Wilhelm qualified. She was one of six students who made the national final round of the tournament, ultimately placing fourth in the dramatic interpretation category for her performance of “I’ll Scream Later,” from the memoir by Oscar-winning actress, Marlee Matlin, who is deaf. Wilhelm’s performance included sign language.

On the strength of her performance, Wilhelm was invited to Western Kentucky University for a campus tour. While there, she was offered a substantial scholarship, which she accepted — she’ll be attending Western Kentucky this fall. To top it all off, Matlin sent Wilhelm a signed copy of her memoir, “Children of a Lesser God,” in which Matlin wrote that she was “proud” of Wilhelm.

Wilhelm wrote a letter to RAHS Principal Jenny Loeck, and thanked some of the folks who helped her along.

“My coaches especially have been a great support and I think they really deserve big acknowledgment for being there with me for the entire season to help support me through all of this,” Wilhelm wrote. “Jessica Fedje has been my biggest supporter and my biggest fan and on top of that my coach through all of this. But I also couldn’t have done it without Gail Middendorf who was the one to teach me all the sign language used in my performance.” 


Gov. Mark Dayton announced July 15 the appointment of Roseville resident Bobbie Burnham to the Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Intervention, as a Department of Education representative. Burnham’s appointment was effective July 20 and runs through Jan. 6, 2020.

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