Speech team prepares for Nationals in June

Photo courtesy of Rachael Phipps

By Kiara Amaya

The Speech Team will be heading to Nationals in June due to an extremely successful Speech season during the school year.

Four speech students will be going to Nationals: sophomores Emma Kavcioglu, Savanna Kimball, and Sophie Eli, and junior Isabel Huh.

The team has worked hard throughout the year to research, create, and memorize their pieces, showing their commitment to developing their public speaking skills.

Coach and English teacher Rachael Phipps as well as her assistant coach Grethel Muralles work with students each day after school to perfect their written speeches as well as their delivery.

“Participating in Speech has been the best decision of my life, and I don’t say that lightly. Being able to put myself out there, go out on a stage, and put my all into persuading people is one of the greatest skill sets I could have ever gained,” junior Aayushi Garg said. “As my coach always says, public speaking is the #1 fear in America: above death. By joining this team, I’ve joined a community of people with amazing talents and gained priceless skills which I will never lose.”

They have competed at several prestigious tournaments including at Harvard and Berkeley. Throughout the season, the Speech Team was one of the most successful in the Tri-County Forensics League (TCFL), taking home several awards and first place finishes.

Being on the Speech Team helps students to work on their individual speaking and presentation skills, but it also helps them with research skills. Commitment to the team propels members to succeed. Ultimately, the Speech team is a competitive public speaking team. There are various individual events which gain points for the overall team. Additionally, there are a variety of different types of public speaking that are featured, ranging from acting to impromptu skills.

“The speech team ultimately leads students to becoming better researchers and writers. They learn how to be more concise and write at the college level. They also have a better awareness of who they are when they present themselves. It’s a lot of hard work, but is entirely rewarding,” Phipps said.

The team also held a showcase on May 17 where students performed their speeches for friends and family.

“The showcase is an opportunity for our community to see what we do,” Phipps said. “Rarely do the people around us actually get to see what Speech is.”

Whether it is speaking formally at Harvard, practicing in A9 after school, or running lines in the mirror at home, members of the Speech team work hard to represent our school.

“I love speech so much, it’s such a great community,” sophomore Savanna Kimball said. “I feel like I have made so many friends, I’ve changed so much as a person in terms of interacting with other people and in public speaking. I’ve learned so much about making friends on the team and during different tournaments.”