Speech and Debate Team Prepares for Districts

Speech+and+Debate+team+members+prepare+for+a+competition.

Photo used with permission by Zack Schrock.

Speech and Debate team members prepare for a competition.

Sasha Samsinak, Writer

One of the worst fears a student can have is speaking in front of the class. Imagine that you have to go to the front of the class, choose a topic, and speak in front of your peers. Speech and Debate members not only like to do that sort of thing, but they thrive on the opportunity.

Junior Kaiden Shuler has participated in Speech and Debate for three years. He said part of what influenced him to participate was that his mother was involved in Speech and Debate, and she encouraged him to try it. While some students choose to participate in either Speech or Debate, Shuler has chosen to participate in both. Shuler said, “I did a mock trial in 8th grade, and I really enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a try.”

Students who participate in debate learn valuable lessons about political topics. Shuler said that while the debate topic has changed every month, he has been able to learn about many other countries and their political perspectives. “I debated on whether or not we believe the United States should remove economic sanctions against Venezuela. It was interesting to learn about international relations,” said Shuler.

Another member of Speech and Debate, Junior Zach Shrock, said his favorite part of the program is choosing the piece he will perform. “This year, I chose a dramatic script. What I really like about this piece is that it’s really different than what other people normally choose. It’s scary and dark,” said Schrock.

In addition to debating politics and performing dramatic monologues, students say that one of their favorite things about the class is the people.

“I like the personalities that you meet. It is a very diverse class. We have drama kids, we have political people, and we have all kinds of people in the class. I like to hear their interests and what they do outside of Speech and Debate. This is what makes the class so fun,” said Schrock.

The team is focused on Districts at this point. “This season I am going to Districts. I look forward to showing off my skills and talents,” said Schrock.

“I have the opportunity to go to Districts this year,” said Shuler, “I am excited about that.”

As the class prepares for Districts, they will use the workshop model to prepare. “We do workshops where individuals perform in front of the class and everyone in the class, including our coach, Mr. Nathan Harmon, helps critique us,” said Shuler, “This will be very helpful as we prepare for Districts.”