Speech and Debate team dominates competition in finals


(From left to right) Freshman Erin Sullivan, senior Nandin Dave, sophomore Kayla Bynion, senior Adam Kuester, junior Martha Schick, and sophomores Megan Greig, Madison Meyer, Kaley Martin, and Margaret McGuirk pose with their prize ribbons and certificates after a successful meet at Speech and Debate finals. The team received awards in seven out of the eight categories they entered.

The Speech Creatures have done it again.

The Speech and Debate team ended a successful season in their final meet on March 21 at Havre de Grace High School.  Members of the team participated in three rounds of different speech categories against schools from all over Harford County, such as C. Milton Wright High School, Bel Air High School, Patterson Mill High School, and Edgewood High School.

After munching on pizza and waiting for judges to tally up the scores, the team was greeted with awards in seven out of the eight categories they entered.

In Children’s Literature, freshman Erin Sullivan placed second.  In Reader’s Theater, a group event, sophomores Megan Greig and Madison Meyer placed first.  For Original Oratory, sophomore Margaret McGuirk placed first and sophomore Kayla Bynion placed third.  For Oral Interpretation of Prose, sophomore Kaley Martin placed first. To listen to Martin’s award-winning performance, check out the audio file to the right.  Finally, for Declamation, co-captains junior Martha Schick and senior Adam Kuester placed first and second, respectively.

Speech and Debate team moderator Bob Schick was thrilled with the team’s success.  “It was a terrific end to a pretty spectacular season,” Bob said.

“I’ve got a lot of admiration for [senior Nandin Dave] who was doing this when there were only two people on the team. He has stuck with it for four years, and he is a valued member of Speech and Debate.  I was also really grateful for our captains Adam Kuester and Martha Schick for recruiting so many new members and being such enthusiastic leaders,” Bob said.

No members participated in debate categories this time around, which is something Bob would like to see change.  “I would like to have our students more active in Lincoln-Douglas debate and team debate,” he said.

Overall, Bob is excited about the future of the team. “Our numbers have gone up the last couple of years.  More and more people are getting interested. There were a lot of freshmen and sophomores that joined this year, which makes me very optimistic about the future of speech and debate,” he said.

McGuirk echoed Bob’s sentiments on the team’s success and season wrap up. “I’m just so proud of all the Speech Creatures.  I wish that some of the members who didn’t qualify [for finals] could have been there, but everyone did so wonderfully.  This season was amazing. We had a lot of new people and we just had a great time at all the meets,” McGuirk said.

“The best part of Speech and Debate is definitely the people. I have a lot of good friends on the team and it’s the one place that I feel like I can be myself. It’s also a wonderful way to meet people from other schools,” she said.

Spending time with their fellow Speech Creatures is a favorite part for many team members.  “The absolute best part of the team is the people.  Mr. Schick is great, he gives us great feedback and he really cheers us on. The students on the team are so enthusiastic. This makes for a quirky, intelligent team of people who love what they do,” Meyer said.

“The best aspect of the team is that we always have fun while meeting new people and doing well in the events,” Sullivan said.

“I love meeting new people at the competitions, and just the competing in general,” Martin said.

First-year competitor Bynion had a positive experience with the tournament as well.  “Since this was my first year on the team, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought we had a great year, though, and it seemed like we won almost every event we entered,” she said.

According to Greig, even if the team does not do its best, she always has a good experience. “My favorite part of being on Speech and Debate is how much fun we all have together. I can always be myself around the team. Even if it’s been a bad night score-wise, I always go home with a smile on my face,” Greig said.

Grace Kim is Online Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

Additional reporting by Adam Kuester