Start of the Speech and Debate Season
By Meena Ropp
October 16, 2019
At Centennial High School, David Monetra kicked off the start of this season’s first speech and debate novice tournament on Saturday the 19th.
For the past few weeks, Montera critiqued Centennial’s competitors’ speeches and debate cases to ensure they’d succeed in the novice competition.
Although Montera has retired from teaching classes at Centennial, he continued to lead the speech and debate club with the vision of improving his competitors’ public speaking skills and confidence.
Of these new competitors, many started off uneasy about the upcoming tournament, but with a little guidance, they prepared for their first speech and debate meet of the year.
Many of the experienced speakers and debaters from previous years volunteered to judge the first novice tournament.
Several of the student judges claimed to feel nervous about judging as well, but as the day rolled on, they eased into their judging potential and learned from the experience.
One of the judges, Talia Montera, a sophomore student at Centennial High School, said she was excited but nervous to critique the other student’s speeches and debate cases.
She explained that sometimes even she becomes nervous to present her speeches despite having a year’s worth of experience in the club, but helping other students to grow in their public speaking skills has improved her own abilities.
“I just hope I don’t mess up when I’m judging,” Talia Montera explained.
Of course, she completed her judging just fine along with all of the other student judges from the other Pueblo schools.
At the end of the tournament, the students cheered on their fellow competitors as they received their medals.
One of these winners, Sofia Kamal, a sophomore student at Centennial High School, won second place in Lincoln Douglas Debate through long hours of dedicated preparation.
“I’m so excited that I won, but I honestly wasn’t sure how well I did,” Kamal explained.
Looking back on this tournament, the novice competitors and student judges will use the knowledge gained from this experience to perform well in future competitions.