During a year in which so much has been canceled, Primero High School is pushing forward with a new academic extracurricular organization for students: Speech and Debate.

“This year, with the restrictions on students for competing in contact sports, a participation vacuum was created,” explained Primero English teacher and Speech and Debate coach Patricia Johnson. “In order to meet the needs of our students, we decided to have a Speech and Debate organization.”

Modifications have been made to the nature of this year’s competition format to accommodate state-wide Covid19 restrictions. “This year, CHSAA is allowing us to have virtual or online competitions, which means our students will not have to travel to compete,” said Johnson. “Our meets will occur on Saturdays, where the students, coach, and tech support facilitate our participation in competitive speeches and debate categories. We are new to this format and competing in this regard. Still, we are optimistic that our students will perform well, since all students will have a ‘home field advantage’ in the sense that we will be competing from our own school.”

The competition areas include Interpretation of Literature Events such as Oral Interpretations of humor, drama, and poetry; Duo Interpretation of Literature, which includes two students; Program Oral Interpretation (two different genres by the same student); and creative storytelling which involves creating their own story and delivery.

Public Speaking includes events such as Extemporaneous speaking (National, International, Combined); Original Oratory; and Informative Speaking.

Finally, Debate includes events such as cross-examination debate; Lincoln-Douglas Debate; Public Forum Debate; Congressional Debate; and World Schools Debate.

“Speech and Debate competitions are for high school students only, so we have two juniors and three sophomores. Our team represents the best of Primero: Mikailah Feinman and Jace Baribeau, juniors; and Louis Ossola, Xzavier Garcia, and Cristian Coker, sophomores. This will be the first year of speech competition for each of our students,” said Johnson.

Load comments