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Temple City High School Speech and Debate soars to new heights

Many surrounding schools, including Arcadia and Gabrielino, have debate teams that are a part of the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA). This year, Temple City has joined their ranks with the help of the Speech and Debate Club, which joined a faction of the NSDA called the California High School Speech Association.

“The club explores different areas of speech and debate and helps members build up their oratory skills,” junior Candice Lau said. “It involves students in tournaments where they can compete.”
Early in October, cabinet members participated in their first Novice tournament. Overall, they won two ribbons of excellence and two ribbons of superiority.

Members competed in various categories, including Congress, Expository, Dramatic Interpretation and Impromptu. In the individual categories, judges rank each competitor from one to six. They then reward points according to the rank one achieves and competitors aim to get the lowest overall score. Those who receive such scores earn ribbons.

“It was so inspiring to see how dedicated and passionate these novices are about speech and debate,” senior Club President Melody Lin said. “The fun and excitement comes from the fact that I am able to step on stage and express myself.”

On Nov. 14, the team participated in another tournament that involved a larger amount of categories, this time with their performances and speeches already memorized. Novice member Kimberly Calderon received a ribbon of excellence for her original poem, “My Mother.”

“To be honest, I was so nervous about the November event. Whenever I thought about it, it stressed me out a lot,” Lin said. “But at the same time, I was really thrilled to go and I knew the experience would make me a better speaker.”

Speech and Debate Club is more focused on speech categories this year. Although only cabinet members participated in the October and November tournaments, the club is opening up to the rest of the student body soon. Their first meeting day will be Dec. 7, in the Media Center after school.

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