Speech and debate begins a successful season

The Granada Hills Charter (GHC) Speech and Debate teams had two recent tournaments, both with multiple first place winners each. The competitions were held on November 2 for speech and the weekend of November 9 and 10 for debate. 

The speech team’s novice tournament had record-breaking wins, even though it was the first competition for all the competitors. Two competitors, sophomore Kristen Mayol and junior Silvina Herrera, earned perfect scores throughout the entire tournament.

“We had two students with perfect scores. That means that for every round they went to, all the judges that they saw that judged them thought they were the best. They got what’s called a picket fence, one’s [perfect scores] straight through the entire tournament,” speech coach Rachael Phipps said. 

In addition to the speech team’s record-breaking wins, the debate team also performed well at a Congress tournament and the De Toledo Invitational the weekend of November 9. The most notable performances were at the Congress tournament for both novice and varsity, where junior Sarah Shapiro won first place in the Lincoln Douglas format and senior Chirayu Kohli was a semi-finalist.

“We did very well at this recent tournament. We had students in first place and others who also did very well,” debate coach Jerome Robinson said.

Both teams spent extensive amounts of time preparing for the tournament. For speech, this includes writing and practicing speeches, and for debate involves researching and discussing current events.

Both teams have also taught students skills that help them in a variety of different areas within and outside of school. 

“Debate has kept me really up to date with things going on in our society now. It’s definitely helped me give presentations in all my other classes and has improved my public speaking on the spot,” junior Rachel Lee said.

Lastly, the teams provide a community for those involved and result in lasting friendships. 

“It was a lot easier to get closer to people on the team because when you debate you have to collaborate and listen to other perspectives,” Lee said.

The speech and debate teams are not only successful academic teams, but also provide students with unmatched opportunities that help them thrive in and out of school. 

The next Speech and Debate tournament will be on campus on Saturday December 21. IMG-3207

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