CRHS Speech & Debate compete regularly throughout school year


Photo Source: CRHS Speech and Debate Instagram

The 2022-2023 CRHS Speech and Debate team

Peja Kekerovic, Staff Reporter

The Canyon Ridge Speech & Debate team’s latest tournament took place on December 9th with senior Matti MacAllister coming in first place, sophomore Jess Myhre second place, and senior Coltin Vinson third place in dramatic interpretation.

Speech & Debate is one of few classes students may take here at Canyon Ridge High School that helps improve students speaking skills. Students in debate are responsible for researching and writing speeches about topics that will be debated at tournaments involving other schools around Twin Falls. Some tournaments determine whether students make it to state, others are an opportunity for students to grow and have fun.

You can expect more debate tournaments all throughout the month of January allowing opportunities for members of CRHS Speech & Debate class to qualify for both state and nationals. More information regarding debate tournaments can be found on their Instagram page: @CRHSPEECHANDEBATE

For a few students, such as Jefferson Gadd, a senior at Canyon Ridge, debate is more than just a class. “I choose to take debate because a few years ago I was definitely not an effective speaker. I slurred my words a lot, and I tended to ramble. I wanted an experience that would help me talk more effectively and improve my literacy skills,” stated Jefferson. “My goal is to go to state in both debate and speech, possibly even nationals.”

Other students such as Coltin Vinson, a senior taking debate class,  just want to enjoy the class. “At this point, I’ve already had what I would consider a successful debate career. I just want to have fun competing.” 

Mrs. Gardner, the teacher in charge of debate, says her goal is for members “to go into the competition feeling prepared. I mean bringing home trophies from tournaments is always really cool, but the end goal is for students to always feel like they went in and did the best they could.” 

However, COVID has played a role in preventing her goals from being reached.  Mrs. Gardner stated that ever since COVID, “kids started slacking about the work they put into the class.” She also believes students’ commitment throughout the entire debate season is an obstacle preventing her from future goals. “It’s not like football or basketball where it’s a two to three  month season, we compete all year long, and it’s exhausting sometimes.” 

Mrs. Gardner concluded that all obstacles preventing her students to have a successful year stems from work ethic. She plans to overcome this by being more encouraging.  “I think just keep doing what I’m doing and being consistent, positive, and encouraging students as well as giving them opportunities to compete and do well,” stated Mrs. Gardner.