Speech and debate novices shine

New members of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy’s Speech and Debate team performed well in their first tournaments.

Freshman Dani Chavez of Glendale participated in the Southern California Debate League for novices in late November. She scored in the top 10% in a field of 32 competitors in oratorical interpretation with Lady Gaga’s “Prime Rib of America” speech, which addressed “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Chavez was also named one of the MVPs of the tournament.

“The benefit of talking about such an amazing and controversial topic is that I get the chance to explain to people my opinions,” Chavez said. “I can literally watch their views change, and that's a very powerful thing.”

Chavez not only ranked in the finals in novice impromptu at the Jan. 8 Cal Lutheran Invitational tournament, but also took first place in novice oratorical interpretation.

Teammate Rachel Koo, a boarding student from Korea, placed third in novice oratorical interpretation. Koo, whose first language is Korean, performed Ted Kennedy Jr.’s eulogy for his father.

“Being in speech and debate is not easy for me,” Koo said. “I really want to improve my public speaking skills, and standing in front of many people talking has become a little bit easier.”

Freshman teammates Ally Clapp, Riley Gilmartin, Nayoon Kim, Stephanie Kim and Claire Stoffers also performed well in their first tournaments.

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