Speech and Debate argues their way to nationals

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For the Win/Smiling after their win, the Speech and Debate Team pose for a photo with their awards after qualifying for Nationals. They will travel to Dallas, TX in June to compete at the national level.  Photo Courtesy of Mr. Komatsu

By Amanda-Joy Lee

Speech and Debate students prepared speeches and debated their way to victory at American Preparatory Academy and Canyon Springs High School for the National Speech and Debate Qualifiers on March 29-30 and April 5-6

“You have to be knowledgeable about the topic you were assigned,” junior Dakyung Lee said. “The competition forces you to know both sides, so you have to be prepared to argue for either one.”

On the first weekend, students prepared 10-minute scripts on their chosen topics such as dramatic interpretation and humorous interpretation. On the next weekend they debated on issues like Public Forum, Congress and Lincoln-Douglass.

“It was my first time doing the topic of Congress,” junior Abigail Spencer said. “Despite this, I want to learn more and strive to be nationally competitive.”

Out of hundreds of competitors, juniors Dylan Beach, Abigail Spencer, Sara Ross and Dakyung Lee, as well as sophomore Seth Winterton, qualified for Nationals with their topics on Market Rate Housing, Congress and Lincoln-Douglass. They also won the District Sweepstakes award for having the most points in the debate category.

“I was extremely excited to win, especially because it’s my second time going,” junior Dylan Beach said. “I’m stoked to go to Nationals, especially since seniors are the ones who typically go.”

Nationals will be held in Dallas, Texas from June 15-22. Videos of the competition should be posted after the event.

“It was a lot of mixed emotions, but I was mostly excited that we were going to Nationals,” Speech and Debate teacher Mr. Komatsu said. “We’ve been preparing for months, and I’m sad that it’s slowly coming to an end. I’m impressed on how far my students have come and how they’ve grown to be independent learners.”

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Amanda-Joy Lee, senior, is a newcomer on staff. Her favorite pieces to write are short-stories and opinion. Born and raised on Honolulu, Hawaii, she moved to Nevada at 15 years old. She enjoys reading, volunteering, playing games, and going to conventions or concerts. Her dream school is University of Washington to study creative writing, storytelling, and public speaking. Her favorite foods are pasta, boba, chinese food, ramen, sushi, and steak, and her favorite Pokemon is Ditto.