War of Words

Speech and Debate Returns for the 2018-2019 School Year

National Speech and Debate Association

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Imagine yourself in front of a small panel of judges. You have nothing but your mind and voice to achieve that glorious title of champion. You start delivering your speech you had written and been preparing for. For weeks, you have been accumulating and assembling a piece of writing that will support a topic you had been given. After you finish your speech, you sit back down with confidence, assured that you had done a great job… or maybe not?

Speech and Debate is a club/class that offers competition and academic activity that is fun but also challenging. The Speech and Debate students experience the situation that I provided previously every time they attend an event. Students work hard during and after school to prepare for competitions that will be held throughout the valley. They want to win and have fun doing so.

Courtney Stern, the adviser, helps to prepare her students for these competitions so that they can be successful. The ultimate goal of any competitive sport or activity is to win, and that’s what the Speech and Debate kids do.

This is Stern’s third year teaching Speech and Debate.

“I absolutely love it, it’s incredibly challenging because our team is really big and because Speech and Debate is complex anyways,” said Stern. “There are actually 14 different events that students can compete in so trying to be an expert in so many different things and coach so many different kids is a challenge but is really a lot of fun for me.”

Students not only have fun but face difficulties in this elective. Stern makes an effort to challenge her students often. Along with being the Speech and Debate teacher, Stern also teaches Legal Studies and Journalism. As you can imagine, that makes for a pretty hectic schedule.

“I’m lucky that my schedule makes a lot of sense this year,” said Stern. “So I have law classes first, and then I have journalism at a time where we have lunch, so it makes easy for kids to do interviews. And then I have all my speech and debate, so I do switch gears a lot during the day, but I’m not going back and forth, I think that would be a lot harder. So I am very grateful to Ms. Hill for my schedule.”

Because of this hectic calendar, Stern has had to better organize her three classes and make sure everything is running smoothly.

Speech and Debate requires after school activity and at home work. It takes time and effort to be successful in the classroom and at events. It is one of the most competitive classes in the school and makes A-TECH proud.

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