By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman
“Success breeds success” is the motto of Marrianne Driml.
Driml certainly breeds success herself. She taught English, world literature and communications at Glenwood Community High School for 38 years, retiring in 2008. She coached the high school speech team for 31 years and still volunteers to help speech students.
“I know I’ve coached 100 to 150 people,” Driml said.
Among these 150 speech students is the only person in the history of Iowa speech competition to earn eight all-state nominations. John LaRue earned two all-state nominations for speech during each of his four years of high school from 2001 to 2004. Driml helped him every step of the way. Successes like LaRue helped Driml earn a spot in the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) Hall of Fame, the association’s highest honor.
The award was presented Friday evening during a banquet at the IHSSA conference in Ames. In order to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, letters of recommendation were written to the IHSSA. According to Glenwood High School’s current speech coach, Russell Crouch, more than 35 letters poured in, from past students to co-workers, living both locally and in faraway places like Hawaii and Washington, D.C. After receiving the letters, the association board chooses two people each year for this honor. This year’s other recipient was Jo Treadwell of Tipton.
“I’m very humbled by this because I think there are so many people who are so much more deserving than I am,” Driml said.
Crouch, a former student of Driml’s, said she deserves this honor.
“She did so much for students, not just in speech, but in life,” Crouch said. “The connection we were able to make with what she was teaching, whether speech or literature, back to our everyday lives was amazing.”
Crouch added, “She was great at matching students with speeches to enhance their learning abilities and interests. Everyone wants to learn from her because she brings out the best in people.”
Driml often chose interpretive speeches to match a students’ personality to enable the personality to show through in the performance. Informative speeches were matched to a student’s interest.
“There’s always a piece that a student wants to do, but if it doesn’t match their interest or their personality, it isn’t the right piece for them,” Crouch said. “She taught us not to settle for second best.”
Driml, however, won’t allow people to give her all the credit. “Under myself and Michael Schmidt, we did well,” Driml said. “He did large group and I did individual. As a result of both of us, we became a powerhouse. Russell has kept on with that tradition.”
Driml’s years as a speech coach produced not one speech coach, but five. Crouch, Teresa Lawler, Stephanie Davis, Bobbi Rohrberg and Susan Reed all coach speech for high schools. She’s very proud of all her students. “They are so talented,” Driml said. “I’m in awe because of their talent and creativity. It’s a wonderful feeling for those kids to excel with all those speeches.”