Front Row: Lance DeLacy, Rebecca Davis, and Isabella Cravero
Middle Row: Hazel Ambort, Austin Wang, Lilli Ambort, and Marianna Hurd
Back Row: Andrew Del Vecchio, Travis Hazelett, Daequan Poole, Yash Singh, and Jason Jiang
Not Pictured: Robert Norwood and Logan Quick
Fourteen members of the speech and debate team qualified for the National Debate Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama.
This is the highest number of qualifiers in school history. Hazel Ambort, Isabella Cravero, Rebecca Davis, Lance DeLacy, and Travis Hazelett qualified in World Schools Debate. Andrew Del Vecchio and Daequan Poole are both second time qualifiers in Public Forum Debate. Austin Wang and Robert Norwood qualified in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, Marianna Hurd and Logan Quick qualified.
Additionally, Lilli Ambort will represent in Informative Speaking, Jason Jiang in International Extemporaneous Speaking, and Yash Singh in Student Congress (House).
The team repeated several awards or honors for the fifth time in a row including winning the Debate Sweepstakes Award and Overall Sweepstakes Award in East Iowa, been a Top 100 school (an award given to the top 10 percent speech and debate programs in the country), and meeting or exceeding the records for school national qualifiers.
In addition, the team was also awarded with the District Speech Sweepstakes and District Congress Sweepstakes Awards and a Leading Chapter Award. The Leading Chapter Award recognizes the program’s growth, participation, and achievements from 2005-2016.
The speech and debate program teaches students valuable life skills like public speaking and presentations, teamwork, and knowledge of current events. They are coached by speech teacher Joe Rankin and travel to tournaments around the region. The speech and debate team is predicted to continue to grow in the future and bring up more national qualifiers.