Debate Showcase Premieres

The Debate team hosts first annual Public Speaking Showcase to let girls demonstrate what they have learned throughout the year.


Ava Stoltz

Junior Zoey Jenson performs at the first ever Debate Showcase Dec. 4.

Ava Stoltz, News & Sports Section Editor

The Debate team hosted its first Public Speaking Showcase which featured performances of Improvisational Duet Acting and Student Congress, in the Commons Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The Debate team had sophomores Riley Weaver, Maggie McKinney, Mattie Mills, Aly Hefner and Pritika Manna and junior Zoey Jensen perform in the showcase. The showcase included a mini Parliamentary debate centered around if homework should be banned from the kindergarten through high school education system, with teams of two arguing each side. The night ended with the audience voting on who they thought was the best performer and who won the Parliamentary debate. McKinney and Weaver won the best performance with their Improvisational Duet Acting and the audience voted to ban homework for the Parliamentary debate.

“It was a good atmosphere for the girls who have never performed before to get a chance to perform,” Jensen said. “I’m a varsity debater, so it was fun to help the younger girls write their speeches and perform.”

Debate Coach Caitlyn Wicks hosted this event for the first time this year and plans to continue it in the future to keep celebrating the debate team and their accomplishments. According to Wicks, she also held the event to show prospective students what the debate program is like.

“I just wanted an opportunity to showcase the girls and what they’ve been working on,” Wicks said.

Mills performed in the Student Congress section and the mini Parliamentary debate. According to Mills, her favorite speech of the event was her Student Congress section where she spoke about how we should not arm teachers.

Ava Stoltz
Sophomores Mattie Mills and Riley Weaver hug during the voting portion of the Debate Showcase Dec. 4.

“My favorite part of the showcase was seeing all these things my friends have worked on all semester come together,” Mills said.

At the end of the event, the audience was encouraged to participate by voting on who they thought was the best performer and which side they would vote on in the mini Parliamentary debate. The audience voted through text for who they thought the best performer was. Wicks wanted to find the most efficient way to get the audience involved in voting and decided texting was the best way. On the program was the number to text and the numbers for each performance.

“I figured it would be the easiest way to let the audience be involved without having to wait for them to fill out a paper ballot and then hand that in,” Wicks said.

This was McKinney’s first year doing Debate for the school. She performed in the Improvisational Duet Acting and United States Extemporaneous Speaking in the program. During this year in Debate, she was able to explore her political beliefs and watch her friends perform and show their skills, according to McKinney.

“I thought it was a really good experience,” McKinney said. “It was fun to perform what I’ve learned over the past semester. I definitely learned a lot about who I am as a performer.”