Speech and Debate: New Class, New Teacher


Lily Brooks, Reporter

The teachers at PHS know how the students like to chat, so they created a place where chatting is expected of them. This year, the small club of Speech and Debate has transformed into a class, adding  many more participants to the sport. The club is constantly growing and improving  under its new captain, history teacher Kyle Kendall.

During the season, the Speech and Debate club meets after school on Mondays in the history portables. Teacher  Sheri Alheim started the club six years ago, and it has since grown significantly. The participants of the club have enjoyed great success, achieving state titles and national rankings.

According to Kendall, the club started with only a handful of students and grew into more than one class can hold. Kendall is relatively new to debate himself, only becoming involved two years ago when Alheim asked him to join.

Kendall stated that Alheim chose to pass on the mantle of her leading position because of her other responsibilities to the union. Kendall is now in the middle of his first season as the new leader of the Speech and Debate club.

“It seemed like an exciting opportunity to engage in the school community and utilize skills as a social studies instructor,” said Kendall.

The new class creates more time for organization and depth of learning. There has been a shift toward a better functioning club since it was initiated.

“The first year of the club you had to ask around and learn as you go. With the club and class it’s more organized and more effective, which makes everyone on the same page,” said Teagan Horken, the student debate captain.

An enormous amount of students have decided to participate, allowing the club to grow continuously. As word spreads about the Speech and Debate team, more students seem drawn to join in on the fun.

“There has been growth in leadership and overall presentation. As a captain, there has been more work with a class as well,” said Anna Marshall.

The new class has created more time for the club to develop and pursue their ambitions, giving more time to learn to present each case or to read better than before. Over a couple of years, Speech and Debate has grown and developed into a better- functioning club and into an ambitious class. The Speech and Debate club will continue to strive for success.

“It will continue to grow and compete (while being) sustained through students’ enthusiasm and love of the sport,” said Kendall.