Speech and Debate prepares for their competition


Marianne Hanouneh

From our speech and debate team, (left to right) Paul Rihani, Elizabeth Wiriadinata, Emilia Shahverdian, Hanan Hashem, Alaura Contreras, and Yareth Fernandez all won an award for their excellent speeches.

Speech and Debate attended their second competition of the year at Northwood High School in Irvine on Nov. 10.

“It increases your vocabulary and speed of response for debate and coherence for you talking,” explained junior Hanan Hashem on the benefits of Speech and Debate. She has been a member of the team for two years.

The class meets Mondays and Fridays at lunch, and Tuesdays after school from 3 to 5 p.m. to prepare.

Sophomore Emilia Shahverdian, a two year member, said,“I make sure to talk to my opponents and teammates before the round starts to collect my nerves.”

Typically on competition days, students who arrive early wait for the rest of the team to arrive before the tournament starts. Those participating in the speech portion of the tournament, present their speech in front of a judge and opponents then return to the group location.

“The best is the extra time in between rounds to just eat and hang out and play games. The worst is the stress between each level and comparing yourself and memorization,” said Hashem.

Their last competition took place at California State University, Fullerton on Oct. 20. Juniors Shannon Magnin and Agnes Nemtoc received first place and Shahverdian scored third.

Shahverdian’s favorite part of Speech and Debate is “being able to interact with people who have the same interests as me and people who want to further their public speaking. It is a lot of fun being with people who support you.”