Our 2021-2022 Coaching Staff
Jenn Baese (Co-head coach) - An English teacher of 21 years at Lakeville North High School, Jenn brings an incredible amount of experience, insight, and leadership to the program. She's coached state and national champions and finalists in a variety of categories including Drama, Expository, Informative, Original Oratory, Poetry, and Prose.
Yatesh Singh (Co-head coach) - He came to Lakeville North in 2010 to coach debate and now coaches speech for us. His students have had success at all levels of competition in Extemp Speaking, Impromptu, Informative, and Original Oratory. He manages our Travelling Team and handles most of the administrative functions for the team. He is also the Extemp Curriculum Director for the Institute for Speech & Debate.
Emma Johnson - Emma coaches Storytelling, Creative, and Humor. One of the reasons why she wanted to join Speech in high school was to help her get over her stage fright and become more comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. She says she is so blessed to give back to the team that gave her so much, and to be able to build confidence in her students the way her coaches did for her. When she isn't coaching, she performs as a back-up dancer/singer for drag sensation Roxi Manacoochi, loves to go to the cabin with her family, hang out with her friends, read, play/listen to music, watch TV/movies, go to the theatre, and reads all the IMDB trivia she can!
Travis Fick - Travis graduated from Lakeville North and was on the team for four years. He coaches Info, OO, Great Speeches, and Disco. His favorite memory from speech is beating Lakeville's first Info state champion in State finals the next year! When he's not coaching, he teaches kindergarten in Oakdale, Minnesota.
Meg Krekeler - Meg has coached a variety of categories over her career, but currently she coaches Interp categories such as Duo, Drama, Prose, and POI. She loves building relationships with students and watching them grow (sometimes literally) right before her eyes. She loves that Speech often asks them to take risks, to put themselves out there through stories and topics that matter to them, and she loves that she gets to take that journey with them. Meg works as an Art Director/Designer for a Creative Agency out of Minneapolis and do some freelance work on the side. She has two children (18 & 15) who also do Speech at a different area high school. In her "spare" time she does some acting in the twin cities, sings with her church band, and loves spending time unplugging when she can, up at her family's cabin in Northern Wisconsin.
Charlie Stokes - Charlie coaches Humorous, Creative, and Duo. He loves speech because it is a special kind of rewarding to help students find their voice. In his free time, he has run 4 marathons with varying degrees of success, he enjoys reading fantasy, and finding new dogs to pet. He does work, but it's only to fund his dream job which is coaching speech.
Kate Makowski - Kate coaches Interp, "particularly the sad stuff" (Dramatic Duo, Drama Prose, POI). She loves speech because speech doesn't just elevate your ability to speak publicly...it elevates your life. The confidence you gain from this activity to go forth and conquer is unmatched by anything else she's ever experienced. Outside of speech she works at Eyebobs. She's really happy to give back what this activity has given her! Besides working full and part-time jobs, she loves trivia, karaoke, exploring new coffeeshops and restaurants and spending time with her loved ones!
Dan Kauchick - First year interp coach, this is his second year working at LNHS, teaching American Sign Language. He is a word nerd at heart, loves theatre and poetry. He is excited to help students learn how to tell their stories and the confidence the speech can build. When not here at school teaching, you can find him out for a walk or on his yoga mat or out in the town, catching a play or trying a new local restaurant.
Cory D Stewart - Cory is a former NATIONAL AND STATE CHAMPION in Drama and will be coaching for LNHS in his inaugural year as a coach. Cory has a BFA in Acting from The Boston Conservatory and is currently in graduate school to become a psychologist at the University of St Thomas. All of those things combine for his love of what speech is at its core: authentic connection to the human experience. Cory recently returned to Minnesota after a decade living in NYC and part time in Brazil, and 17 other countries for work in media.
Ann Thomas - Ann coaches original oratory. She became involved 15 years ago when her daughter joined the team as a freshman in high school. Ann started judging at tournaments and then became a volunteer coach. She works for an educational software company as a senior analytics advisor. Ann has two favorite speech memories: 1) watching her daughter perform a duo with her best friend at the Roseville tournament during their senior year and 2) a speech banquet in which a teammate of her daughter’s shared that her brother (also a speech alum) told her as much as his Harvard education, speech made the difference in his professional success.
Alexie Castrellon - Alexie is beyond excited to return for a second year coaching and she competed for LNHS when she was in high school. Her coaching focus is Extemporaneous Reading. Currently, she is a Guest Services Supervisor at Mall of America. She has made many amazing memories in Speech, but one of her top memories was winning 1st place at a tournament for the first time. Most importantly, the feeling of camaraderie and pushing each other to be better is a feeling she'll always carry with her. She is elated for what this season has in store!
Dan McGrill - Dan has been coaching for 2 years now, solely coaching discussion. He works for AirCo Services (Worthington Aviation) in Eagan. His best memory of speech so far is being the MC for wordplay in 2016 during his senior year.
Natalie Nelson - Former speech head coach. Natalie has been "speeching" for almost 20 years! Natalie is a new teacher here at Lakeville north and teaches 9th and 10th grade English. Her favorite categories are most PA's