The Hiller

Speech and debate season soars

Pictured+above+are+several+members+of+the+Speech+and+Debate+Team%3B+Seniors+Quinten+Harrison%2C+Andrew+Hobgood%2C+Breea+Gray+and+Amy+Lin%2C+along+with+Junior+Felicity+Bird%2C+and+Sophomores+Peyton+Celani+and+Lucie+Towers.+
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Speech and debate season soars

Pictured above are several members of the Speech and Debate Team; Seniors Quinten Harrison, Andrew Hobgood, Breea Gray and Amy Lin, along with Junior Felicity Bird, and Sophomores Peyton Celani and Lucie Towers.

Pictured above are several members of the Speech and Debate Team; Seniors Quinten Harrison, Andrew Hobgood, Breea Gray and Amy Lin, along with Junior Felicity Bird, and Sophomores Peyton Celani and Lucie Towers.

courtesy of Breea Gray

Pictured above are several members of the Speech and Debate Team; Seniors Quinten Harrison, Andrew Hobgood, Breea Gray and Amy Lin, along with Junior Felicity Bird, and Sophomores Peyton Celani and Lucie Towers.

courtesy of Breea Gray

courtesy of Breea Gray

Pictured above are several members of the Speech and Debate Team; Seniors Quinten Harrison, Andrew Hobgood, Breea Gray and Amy Lin, along with Junior Felicity Bird, and Sophomores Peyton Celani and Lucie Towers.

Trinity’s Speech and Debate team is a rite of passage for many students entering the high school: a place where they find the innovative and supportive environment essential to adapting to the high school community.  Here is the inside scoop on the season this year.

Freshman Meghan Artuso reflects on her year as an underclassmen on the team.

She shared that the team is “very welcoming and that many understood that being new to the team was challenging.” Every year, students with diverse backgrounds and aspirations form the district’s Speech and Debate team. The team comes together on Wednesday afternoons to compete at local tournaments. Traveling upwards of an hour and a half to competitions can be tiresome, but the team fills up the time with tutoring, karaoke, and debates. In the last year, the cafeteria staff has begun making snack bags for our competitions that adhere to the complex diets of our members. Murmurs of appreciation fill the van as we are all tired and hungry following our tournaments.

A sense of pride washes over the van as the captain reads the scores aloud. One can hear a “beep beep” from our assistant coach, William Lemonovich, when our scores span into the sixties.

Trinity’s Speech and Debate team has undergone significant changes in the last four years.

Since my arrival in the 2015-2016 school year, our district belongs to Pennsylvania High School Speech League, PHSSL, to the National Speech and Debate Association, NSDA, which changed our host for the state competition. Both Susquehanna University (2016) and Bloomsburg University (2017-Present) have been gracious hosts over the years allowing us to practice and compete in their classrooms.

As the season draws to a close, state and national qualifiers creep closer. State qualifiers took place predominantly in February and national qualifiers will follow soon after. The state competition begins in March and the national competition will take place over the summer in Dallas, Texas.

This year, I, along with the district’s Mr. Crissman, will make history in the speech community.

We  have worked alongside each other in the district’s FabLab to create wood engravings for the state competition. Significant changes are on the horizon for the speech community as this collaboration marks the first time in history that a prop of this medium has ever been presented at a competition of this prestige.

As seniors walk the halls of the Home of the Hillers for their final time, the team will send off their seniors and the title of Captain will be passed down to a rising senior. I, along with the other Senior Debate Captain, Emily Beitler, will pass the titles of Captain to Ann Kozak and Bayli Miles.

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Speech and debate season soars