Speech and Debate headed for State

Bryan Hickman

speechdebatestateOver the course of three weekends, Foothill Technology High School’s Speech and Debate team competed in three tournaments to determine whether or not individuals would make it to California’s State Speech and Debate Tournament.

Brittany Bernardi, who qualified for Original Prose and Poetry, was ecstatic when she found out she had qualified.

“This is the most exciting day of my life! This is my first time going to states,” she said.

The three state qualifying tournaments were: the debate qualifier, at Oaks Christian High School; the student congress qualifier, at Foothill Technology High School; and the speech events qualifier, at Burbank High School.

These tournaments consist of multiple events, but the state tournament is a conglomeration of all of the events. The winners from the qualifying tournaments get the opportunity to compete at the state tournament.

In all, twelve students qualified and are eligible for the tournament. This year it takes place in Bakersfield, an hour and a half northeast of Ventura.

Steven Ellison, one of the senior qualifiers, expressed his excitement.

“I’m really proud of all my teammates, because what they’ve done is really impressive. We have never taken as many as twelve students to states before, and this is the first time some people from our team are going,” Ellison said.

When asked what he was going to do at state, Ellison replied “I’m going to win in Public Forum debate. But even if that doesn’t happen, I am going to have fun.”

Jennifer Kindred, the club’s coach and advisor, was also pleased by the results.

“Mr. Villa and I did a little dance in the judges room when no one else was there. We were so excited and proud,” she commented after the debate tournament.

The qualifiers from Foothill were: Steven Ellison, Aron Egelko, Aidan Fenwick and William “Trey” Anderson in Public Forum debate; Trenton Pham, Molly Roberts, Luke Ballmer and Geneva Douma in Policy debate; Karen Fox and Kevin Kunes in Humorous Interpretation; and Brittany Bernardi and Bryan Hickman in Original Prose and Poetry.

Photo: Steven Ellison poses with the team’s trophies. Photo by Bryan Hickman, The Foothill Dragon Press.

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