Morgan High School has had a speech and debate team since 2009. At that time the school board approved our high school to begin a speech and debate team. Today I would like to share with you the values that speech and debate has taught our students for the past eight years.
Our speech and debate program is part of a nationally recognized honor society called The National Speech & Debate Association. Students who compete are asked to uphold a set of ethical standards. As members of this team and national organization they are asked to be individuals who uphold the values of Integrity, Humility, Respect, Leadership, and Service. As a coach I try to teach our students to use these values when preparing for their speeches, debates, and life. For example we have students who are debating whether our nation should promote national service. We have examined that topic through the lense of giving service to communities and how that can benefit our society as a whole. We have other students who chose to do a speech on their own topic, our rule of thumb as a team is to cultivate topics that are uplifting and motivational to others. Right now I have students who are writing topics on fostering friendships, overcoming apathy, how to better our educational system, and looking at how fiction can mirror positives about life.
The greatest value I have seen that has come from the speech and debate team is that it invites students from all walks of life and puts them together as a team. We have students who are active in sports, some active in drama, and others who feel that debate is their home. Because, our community, both in Morgan and the NSDA, uphold the values of integrity, humility, respect, leadership, and service I have watched individuals become good friends who otherwise would not have developed those friendships.
I am grateful and proud of our students. They are wonderful individuals and represent our community well.