Cambridge & TAPPS

Communication Intern & Cambridge Sophomore Finley Caughran writes about her experience at her first TAPPS competition this spring.


TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) hosts an annual academic competition for students who attend private schools. This April, I joined more than 20 other Cambridge high school students in Waco to compete. The subjects at this event range from speech to spanish; there are tons of competitions to compete in.

I competed in a speech competition called Prose Interpretation. In Prose Interpretation, you read a short piece of literature. Preparing for TAPPS included practicing my piece, A Sandpiper to bring you Joy, over and over any free time I had. Since it was my first year at TAPPS, I didn’t know what to expect, especially since it was also my first speech competition. The first night in Waco, we had no competitions, so we all went out to dinner and bonded with friends. The next morning I had my first competition, and I was in a flight with 8 other people. After competing, I wasn’t sure about my standings or whether I got into Semi-finals, and I wouldn’t know until the end of the day.

Waiting was the worst part, but good news came soon! After waiting for a long while, I found out that I had advanced into the semi-finals. This meant that I had at least 1 more round of competition. After my first round of presentation, I realized that my my piece was running long, so I put work into cutting it down for the next competition. That night I spent hours working on shortening my piece and practicing it again and again until I was too tired to concentrate. The next morning I woke up ready for the final day of the event. I went into Semi-finals not expecting to make it to finals, and came out anxious for my results.

The results weren’t going to be published until later, about an hour before the Finals, so it was just a waiting game. I finally heard back that I had made it to finals. With about 40 mins of prep time, I was beyond nervous. Finally the time came to present my piece — speaking publicly gives me such an adrenaline rush. After the finals I felt a weight lift from my shoulders and it was nearly time to leave. Just as we were loading up the car to come home, I found out that I had placed 8th in the state two other Cambridge competitors placed seventh and sixth! Overall, TAPPS was a great experience and I enjoyed it immensely. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Cambridge placed 5th overall in the 2A division!
Alex Habib placed 8th in Ready Writing
John Frank placed 3rd in Current Events & Issues
Qunicy Hosler placed 7th in Calculator
Michael Nolen placed 6th in Mathematics
Jennifer Chen placed 6th in Advanced Math
Luke Blazek placed 2nd in Persuasive Speaking
John Frank placed 4th in Persuasive Speaking
Ana Bruce placed 6th in Prose Interpretation
Nolan Runnels placed 7th in Prose Interpretation
Finley Caughran placed 8th in Prose Interpretation
Allison Peterman placed 5th in Solo Acting
Luke Blazek placed 2nd in Original Oratory
Jasmine Jobe and Rose Pikman placed 7th in Duet Acting
Luke Blazek placed 3rd in Lincoln Douglas Debate
Lily Weir placed 4th in Poetry Interpretation.