Speech and Debate Team Starts Strong

Irene Pierpont

Speech and Debate requires students to be comfortable with public speaking. It also calls for strong critical thinking, persuasion, and communication skills. So far this year, the Santa Fe High speech and debate team has strongly portrayed these characteristics. 

The first event the team participated in was the Congressional Debate tournament at the Roundhouse, on Sept. 11, where they competed against 14 schools from all around New Mexico. 

The team’s coach, Ms. Hogan, reported that the team did well, especially considering that with the exception of two students, the students had never participated in a Congressional Debate tournament before. 

With student Sydney Barkely placing first in her chamber, Samantha Guerra placing second, Noah Holding placing third, Justin Mirabal placing fifth, and Justin Reynolds placing second in his varsity chamber, it is easy to see that more victories like this are not out of grasp for this year’s team. This subject is now being offered as an elective class while in prior years it was only offered as a club.

The team’s coach, Ms. Hogan, emphasizes how speech and debate is beneficial for students because it strengthens skills that we all need, including, research, staying updated on current world events, learning how to support your arguments with facts, and practicing self discipline. 

In addition to helping students strengthen these skills, speech and debate also puts students on the path to becoming better and stronger leaders by helping them recognize the power that they possess within our society, Ms. Hogan said.