Club Update: Speech & Debate

Nicole Felici, Copy Editor

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Hart’s Speech and Debate team is in the midst of their 2018-2019 competition season. So far, they have competed in various tournaments, including competitions at West Ranch High School and at California Lutheran University. The current club officers are Crystal Salinas (President), Kyla Jones (Vice President), Dominic Cortez (Treasurer) and Julia Estrada (Secretary).

Many people do not realize that the speech and debate parts of the team are two very different categories of competition. Many members of Hart’s team compete in speech competition, which includes but is not limited to Original Oratory or OO, Original Prose and Poetry or OPP and Dramatic Interpretation. The debate events include Congressional Debate, Parliamentary Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate and others. Some team members only compete in speech or debate, but some compete in both.

After walking away successful from several competitions this year, Hart Speech and Debate has their eyes set on competing at State Qualifiers, National Qualifiers and Nationals. Mrs. Nishioka, the club’s advisor and coach for the past twenty years, has high hopes for the team’s success at the upcoming competitions.

“I think whoever I send will do really well, but we’ve always been about percentage rather than sheer number of competitors. Like when I take three people to state, more than half of them [do extremely well]. So we’re small, but we’re mighty,” said Nishioka.

On top of being an award-winning team, Hart Speech and Debate is largely involved in supporting each other and funding the program. When Hart hosts a tournament, non-competing members help sell snacks and offer support to fellow teammates. Also, in order for Hart to attend these competitions, club members help fundraise throughout the year in order to raise money to enter competitions.

Thus far, both the speech team and debate team have taken home several awards. Joe Brennan has won second place in Congressional Debate three times as well as receiving a Superior Certificate in Parliamentary Debate with Cortez. Victories in speech competition include Jones, Salinas, Brennan and Angela Ramirez winning a Superior Certificate in OPP, an Excellence Certificate in OPP, ninth place (out of 80 competitors) in Spar and an Excellence Certificate in Spar respectively.

The Speech and Debate team has been nothing short of successful, but their season is far from over. They have many competitions to come and, if their current record has said anything, will bring home even more wins for Hart.