Arguing their point


Sophomore Avery Flessner and freshman Emma Holmes both took home some awards at the Flowermound tournament.

Claire Peralta, Staff Reporter

Preparing your seemingly bulletproof debate case, practicing the sad poem that you perform so well it will make whoever listens cry, gathering enough news sources so that you can write a perfect 10 minute speech in 30 minutes. This is a day in the life of a debater. Though arguing multiple sides of serious world issues seamlessly may seem stressful and nearly impossible to most high school students, it’s normal for students on the ever-growing debate team.

“When I started my first year there were six boys on the team,” debate coach Tami Parker said. “We have grown from 6 boys to 60 debate one students and 20 debate two and three students, so about 80 students total.”

Students are quickly realizing the many advantages of joining the debate team.

“It helps you write essays and come across as professional,” sophomore Nathalie Kroll said. “It teaches you essential life skills I don’t think you would learn in a class like leadership, because in debate you have to really use what you learn unlike any other class.”

Besides being able to help in high school, it can also help students in the future as well.

“What my kids tell me that have gone on to college is that debate was the one class that once they hit college, really had prepared them.” Parker said.  “The way that the world is going right now, most things are done in a presentation form in businesses, so you have to be comfortable talking to people, you have to learn how to look people in the eye, all things that you will learn in debate.”

Similar to a sport, debate students also attend multiple tournaments and competitions at other high schools and venues outside of school.

“You learn about being in competition and about learning to adapt to a judge and how to perform in front of people,” Parker said.

Many students are realizing the advantages of taking debate.

“Debate helps you because it puts you out of your comfort zone,” sophomore Anna Claire Goodroe said.  “When I first joined the class I thought that there was no way I could give a speech off the cuff, (extemporaneous speaking) but the more times I practice, the easier it gets, and the more experience I have with it.”

Not only do students get the opportunity to express their opinions, but to hear others as well.

“A lot of times I’ll debate with people who are way smarter than me and they’ll give me new ideas that I would’ve never thought of on my own,” Goodroe said. “I think that’s really interesting how you are able to share ideas.”

It may seem like it takes a certain type of person to join debate, but as long as that person is willing to put forth effort, anyone can join the team.

“The best part about debate is the atmosphere,” Goodroe said. “It’s a random group of people who get together, and it’s weird that everyone is as friendly as they are, people you wouldn’t normally know are in debate.”

Between weekend competitions and class, all the time spent preparing brings the team together.

“You spend so much time with your team you become a family,” Kroll said. “We all call Mrs. Parker “Mama Parker”, and we all love her. We all spend so much time with each other, we have inside jokes and stories, and we’re just like a really big family.”

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