The debate tournament season has now drawn to a close, and with it Redmond High School’s most prestigious one yet.
Ever since the Speech and Debate Club’s founding three years ago, the steady work of members, officers and the club adviser, Stephen Thornsberry, has paid off tremendously.
The standard speech and debate tournament season ran from October 2016 through March of this year and students compete against each other in a variety of events, from Lincoln-Douglas (a form of debate centered on morality) to oratory (where students deliver a 10 minute speech from memory). Judges rank how well contestants perform to determine the winners.
Over the course of the season, the RHS club has competed in tournaments from Federal Way to Snohomish, earning awards at each one. The club also hosted their own tournament for the first time in February, establishing the newest addition to the regular circuit of events as more than 20 schools were represented. In that competition, 11 Redmond students qualified or were chosen as alternates for the state debate tournament.
In March several members went on to compete at the state level.
Owen Lyon-Smith took first in impromptu speaking, Keenan Ganz got fifth place in oratory and Marina Chen and Sarah Raza competed in dramatic interpretation and interpretive reading to earn Redmond fifth place in sweepstakes overall.
The club has also begun to become nationally competitive: Lyon-Smith went on to qualify for nationals in June and will compete in the student congress category
With high hopes for the future, the RHS Speech and Debate Club has now begun planning for its next season. New programs are being implemented, such as financial aid for students who need it to go to camps designed to improve debate skills.