Speech is power and to be able to argue your perspective. Speech and Debate is a class and after school activity that most Eaglecrest members are unaware of. At Eaglecrest, Speech and Debate is coached by Mrs. Mcculloch; where each student and member is tested to their full ability in an effort to accomplish their personal goals.
Speech and Debate drives individuals to learn about issues concerning the world, to express their opinion and persuade others to see their perspective. Speech and Debate is an NSDA, or National Speech Debate Association, run event. NSDA is a national debating society that works to create a platform where youth voices can be heard, on complex, real-life topics.
Speech and Debate has numerous different activities that students can join, those activities are designed to match that student’s characteristics and or interests. Whether you are shy and want to use Speech and Debate to express yourself, or even if you are outgoing and want to work on your people skills, Speech and Debate has activities that will help you accomplish those goals.
Speech and Debate teaches you “to step outside of your comfort zone and not be shy” as Jordan Johnson, a freshman at Eaglecrest Highschool describes. He explains that this was his first year of Speech and it has helped him work toward his goal of “ becoming a lawyer by expanding his argumentative skills.” Speech and Debate is not just a way to get information on issues that are happening in the community, but also an opportunity to make new friends and help get colleges to acknowledge the amount of work you put into helping the world.
Speech and Debate does not only happen in Eaglecrest’s walls. Like many other activities, members have the opportunity to compete against other schools by attending numerous different tournaments held at different schools across the state that have been laid out throughout the school year. Tournaments are all-day events where students “wake up at 6 am and do not get home till 9-10 pm,” said Hailey Stepp, a 4-year member of Speech and Debate. Stepp describes Speech as a “super fun laid back activity that is full of support”. There are teachers and coaches there to help you through every step as much help as you need. They are there to provide it for you. Hailey Stepp explains you should “get aware, as there are numerous opportunities that come from those long stressful tournaments”. Even though tournaments are long, just like every other activity they are a commitment and require tons of hard work.
The Speech and Debate class at Eaglecrest isn’t offered in other schools, the class is just another way to ensure the success of each one of their members. The class works just like regular classes: students are graded by the number of tournaments they attend and how much they worked on understanding the topics they chose, while also participating in discussions and debates held in class. In class, students work on their debates with the help of the other students around them and the advisors. As Nia Asmare describes “the class is very chill and the teacher gives you a lot of time to work on your stuff”.
Speech and Debate is an activity many more people at Eaglecrest need to be more aware of “it helps build your character and you as a person” Mariah Hewitson a junior at Eaglecrest describes. Speech is a way you can be a part of improving your community from the comfort of your school while also growing as a person in the process.