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The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

What’s in store for these outspoken Tologs? FSH Speech and Debate Team enters a new era

Leilani McHugh
Speech and Debate team members compete at Gabrielino High School Invitational.

Due to an influx of new members this year, the speech and debate team has incorporated a number of changes, affecting everything from the way the team practices to the competitions it enters. 

FSH’s Speech and Debate team is one of many co-curricular groups on the Hill that allows Tologs’ talents to shine. For those who like to argue, advocate or wish to learn to become more outspoken, this team serves as an outlet to interact with students across the world who share common interests, and, over time, to develop public speaking skills.

Because it’s done exceptionally well over the past few years, the team has decided that it’s time to expand their horizons, welcoming two major planned changes and one unexpected surprise.

First, the team added a new category: the interpretive squad, known as “interp.” In an Interp speech event, participating students perform either humorous or dramatic 10-minute bits and are challenged to use multiple different characters and story-telling techniques. 

A lot of people have wanted to do interp over the past few years, but we’ve never had enough people and have never been able to get it off the ground,” Leigh Weeks ‘24, team captain, said.

Additionally, the debate team has transitioned from parliamentary debate, which focuses on U.S. politics, to a newly established format known as World Schools Debate. This form of debate utilizes teams of three to five people and engages in international topics. 

“One thing we like about World Schools is that it’s truly a world competition,” Profe Noble said. “Teams around the world are debating the same way, mainly in English, and if we do really well we can go to world championships instead of just nationals.”

Not only has the team instituted these formal changes, it’s welcomed a large number of freshmen. To date, 15 have committed to the team.

“I’m shocked. In my freshman year almost no one joined, but suddenly we have a million freshman. They’re great but it is unprecedented. The team has never been this big,” Weeks said.

Profe Noble agrees that with all these new additions, the debate team is ready to flourish.  

“It was overwhelming at first, but I’m excited that a lot of people are interested in debate. I think there will be a lot more perspectives,” Profe Noble said. “Practices will be more exciting and it’s a very good thing to see that the team is growing.” 

Given all the new members and all the new activities, high hopes surround the speech and debate team this year. 

“I’m excited to see how far the junior varsity members go, because I’ve seen them grow from people who’ve never done speech and debate before to people who are placing third and fifth in novice championships,” Weeks said. 

Between various new opportunities and enhanced competitiveness, the team remains a strong community for Tologs to learn teamwork, responsibility, and create friendships.

“I really enjoy being a part of a community in which I have peers with similar interests as me,” Ella Mkrtchian ‘26 said. “As a team, I hope we all grow and improve with our speeches and debates, continuing to bring success to the Flintridge Sacred Heart name.”

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About the Contributor
Nyree Aghayan
Nyree Aghayan, Multi-Media Manager
Senior Nyree Aghayan returns to the Veritas Shield as Multi-Media Manager. Since joining journalism as a junior, her passions for reading and writing have flourished. Now in her second year at Flintridge Sacred Heart, Nyree is involved in varsity Speech and Debate and ASA (Armenian Student Association). Nyree enjoys volunteering, listening to music, and spending time with loved ones.

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