It’s the year 2019 and Academy of the Canyons has made their first speech team. For the eighteen years AOC has stood, there has not been a single organized team based on sports, speech, or debate, etc. As AOC is a small school consisting of around 400 students, clubs and class sizes are relatively small. When clubs hold meetings, barely ten people come and stay just to eat. However, when debate club released news about the creation of a speech team, there was a turnout of more than thirty students at the meeting.
Debate club was established by former AOC students, but there has never been an organized team as all they did was play games and practice speech/debate. The successors of this year’s debate club: Susan Chamling, Katelyn Sulett, Heather Griffiths, Madison Rafter, and Carmele Forbes has taken a step further to reach out to College of the Canyons to collaborate with them.
According to a junior student board member of debate club, Heather Griffiths, stated that “debate club is making a speech team to compete with other teams. This will be considered a college credit class in which a professor at College of the Canyons will help administer the class.”
Debate and speech can help improve speaking skills and get rid of the fear of public speaking with consistent practice. In the previous debate club meetings, the board members always taught the structure of debates and made students practice with partners. Fun games were played to keep the engagement level high.
Another student attending Academy of the Canyons, Jasmin Song, stated “I’m actually excited for debate club. I myself am a very shy kid and have a hard time with public speaking. However, I heard that this Communications professor really helps students get out of their shells, so I want to try out for it.”
Not only does joining the speech team help with image or college applications, but it helps with self improvement. A mother of three students attending AOC, Cindy Kim, thinks that “it’s such a relief that debate club made a team for speech. I strongly advocate for happiness through self-improvement and this is the perfect opportunity for that. I believe that this is a big opportunity for students attending Academy of the Canyons.”
Susie Song, Grade 11
Academy of the Canyons