The Speech and Debate Team


Ronan Brennan, Jackson Lowers, Beckham Cauldwell, Nicholas Orndoff, Madelyn Butler, Chris Cervantes-Dunn, and (in the middle) Ian Okeson, pose for a team picture.

Audrey Greniger, Rookie Reporter

People may think speech and debate is just a bunch of kids getting together and arguing and yelling at each other, but in reality speech and debate provides an opportunity for students to find their voice and their passions.


There are 11 different areas that you can explore in speech and debate. There are students who write or find poetry, and demonstrate it through performance. There are students who do original oratory, where they write speeches about topics that they are passionate about. There are students who debate, and participate in congressional debates, which is modeled after how the US Congress works, which gives students an understanding of politics and current event issues. 


The topics of debate change each month. Some topics are about international issues, some about local issues, and more. However, students can choose their own topics. For example, some students have talked about body image, school culture, and women’s oppression.


The speech and debate team runs from October until February. Around 2-3 times a month, the team has tournaments. So, it runs on a sports-like schedule. In fact, speech and debate is sanctioned by Colorado High School Activities Association, which qualifies it as a sport. 


Students can win trophies, ribbons, and awards if they compete well. They can also compete at a national level, which provides an opportunity to travel to different states. Furthermore, students can compete internationally for the USA Debate team. If they can make it to an international level, they can travel to different countries like Zimbabwe or Iceland.


This year the team has gone to nine tournaments, with at least two or three wins per tournament. 


If you’re thinking of joining the Speech and Debate team, don’t be nervous about presenting on a stage in front of people. There aren’t any large crowds to present in front of, the audience is usually only around six people. To add, there are novice tournaments for newcomers to get a chance to get used to speaking publicly and try it out.


Speech and Debate can help students gain real, applicable skills. Such as English, social studies, and science skills because students are more aware of current events. It helps gain confidence and public speaking skills, which could be an advantage in Capstone projects. Lastly, it provides the opportunity for scholarships because there are colleges who are looking for Speech and Debate students.

If you’re interested in joining the Speech and Debate team, you can contact Ms. McDowell at [email protected].