Cracking down on injustice; Students prove hard work pays off

ALEAH BIKLE, Reporter

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There is an unexpected competition many students routinely compete in that others do not know much about, and if they do, they do not know what it entails. This engaging event is called Speech and Debate.
Mrs. Kim Evelyn, the head coach of the speech and debate team, describes what the events are all about, “A lot of people believe speech and debate is just choosing a topic, and debating against an opponent or conveying your own opinion, but many do not realize the various categories debating can cover.”
Speech and debate can range from reciting poetry and children’s literature, to listing pros and cons, even including extemporaneous scenarios, where students are given a period of time to prepare their studies.
“Topics can change due to what categories participants are in. Some students choose to debate the same thing all season long, perfecting their craft for the judges to view what it is they have improved on,” Evelyn explains. “This year, we have about nine competitions at varying schools, where other students in Harford County go up against our teammates who may have to argue the same topic.”
Students are judged by teachers from either their own schools or competitors’ schools.
“Teachers need to sign up for at least three duties throughout the school year and I happened to be asked to judge a competition a couple of times,” Evelyn recalls, “I was [like] ‘Don’t you have to be an English or social studies teacher’ but I learned that any teacher can be an advisor, and look at me now.”
Junior Ryan Blosser is an active member in Speech and Debate, teaming up with junior Heather King for most of his first place wins.
“My favorite part about being on the team is being able to meet all of the wonderful people who I am fortunate enough to create friendships with,” Blosser continues, “All of the topics are exciting yet challenging and I love that I am able to work with a partner that will be able to celebrate a job well done in the end.”
Categories are given to students a week or more before a competition, giving the team a short amount of time to conjure up everything they want to prove.
“My favorite topic to discuss is anything that has to do with politics concerning the events in Harford county that create an impact,” Blosser reveals “Students shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves out there. By joining the team, they are able to learn public speaking skills and form strong bonds with others that will last them beyond their high school career.”

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Cracking down on injustice; Students prove hard work pays off