Only words will tell

New Debate Club kicks off year

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photo credit: Mallory Hatch

In the beginning \\ During their third meeting, debate students research the different events in which they may participate at meets this school year Oct. 6.

writer: Brianna Kim, journalism student contributor

It almost seemed as if a gush of February winter wind flew by. Knees were shaking, fingers were trembling, and throats were as dry as a desert. It seemed as if time was going by slower than normal. However, this was no winter wonderland. Instead this was the one dreaded moment high school students are haunted by: giving presentations. 

The skills of public speaking and communication are extremely valuable as students head out to the real world.  The Speech and Debate Club, led by Mrs. Heather York, is determined to increase accessibility to resources that would allow students to improve in not only public speaking, but also in presenting one’s self in front of a crowd and expressing themselves in a professional manner.

“Communication skills [learned] will help [students] in class, the work place, and beyond,” Mrs.  York said.

However, Mrs. York believes the benefits of joining the club stretch much further than unlocking and harnessing the skills of communication and public speaking.

This is an opportunity to gain life skills, boost your confidence, increase opportunities for scholarships and make connections with fellow Raiders,” York said.

I’ve always enjoyed debating and I enjoy the formal structure of speech and debate tournaments.”

— Bailey Moody, sophomore

Sophomore Bailey Moody is one of the newest members of the club, and is excited to hit the ground running.

“I’ve always enjoyed debating and I enjoy the formal structure of speech and debate tournaments,” Moody said. “I also think it looks great on college resumes and helps adequately prepare someone for real world problems.”

Despite the club only starting a few weeks ago, Moody already sees a lot of potential in the opportunities Speech and Debate can provide for her and her peers.

“By using the skills learned in Speech and Debate, I can become a more successful negotiator, public speaker and a better student,” Moody said. “All the skills I learn will become beneficial by giving me tools in the real world to be successful.”

The National Speech and Debate Organization currently provides more than 20 different events that students can compete in. The events range from Public Forum Debate (which have opposing teams of two who debate on a current event) and Humorous Interpretation (in which a student chooses a 10-minute excerpt from a humorous piece of published work and performs it accordingly).

Members gather every week after school to curate a competitive team. They have an important decision to make: choosing the events they compete in.

“Going forward, the goal is to effectively learn the skills I need for the event I choose to compete in, and broadening my knowledge on the topic,” Moody said.

After graduating high school, Moody knows that she can take these newly improved skills far into the future.

 “I want to be a psychiatrist,” Moody said, “but to do this, I need developed scholar and speech skills to reach the level of education in which I want to [acquire].”

Although the Speech and Debate team has already organized a few meetings, the club is open to new members joining throughout the year. Meetings are every week after school on Tuesdays with Mrs. York in room 965. Interested students can email Mrs. York or simply attend the meetings.