Speech and Debate: An Independent Team


Courtesy of Kayla Reyes

The speech and Debate team poses for pictures after a tournament


Members of Speech and Debate take turns speaking and critiquing each others speeches. Other members stand facing toward a wall as they practice reciting their speech. Although not all of them participate in the same event, all 21 members are important to the club.

With Speech and Debate comes stress and major responsibility. Members of the team are required to have exceptional memorization skills and have to be able to think quickly on their feet which will help them in their events when being timed and judged based on knowledge and speech. This also helps in real life scenarios in regards to jobs and public speaking. Coached by Mrs. Sheri Baize, members meet in room 113 on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30-4 p.m.

Even with the pressure of being put on the spot, Rishith Mishra, vice president of the club, finds Speech and Debate worth it in the end.

“I was a person who never used to interact with people, I used to be a very, very shy person in my freshman and sophomore year,” Mishra said. “After going to Speech and Debate junior year, I learned how to connect with people, how to talk with people.”

Speech and Debate not only helps to teach its members but also Mrs. Baize. When working with the members, Mrs. Baize feels she is interacting with the future leaders of this country and world.

“These kids are so engaged with everything that going on here and there, and everywhere,” Mrs. Baize stated. “There’s no doubt in my mind, they are the future.”

Although being in a club like Speech and Debate can be fun, the club is also very demanding. Sophomore Reed Easterling feels that a lot of effort needs to be put into Speech and Debate.

“My event is Congress. We’ll get the docket a month or a few weeks before the Congress actually takes place,” Easterling said. “In that period we have to write a lot of speeches and do a lot of research before we go into our band.”

Lauren Guth, sophomore, believes without Speech and Debate, many factors in her life would be different.

“I think I would be struggling more in my writing,” Guth said. “I definitely think Speech and Debate helps my writing and even my reading.”

When in Speech and Debate, Emily Woodruff found out many things about herself with the help of Speech and Debate and all the friendly influences around her.

“I never thought that I could memorize a ten minute speech but this year I did,” Woodruff said. “It’s just a really great way to challenge yourself and push yourself in a comfortable environment with people who will support you.”