Annual Showcase – Tuesday, March 6th at 6:30pm

Spread the word and attend

The Annual Kent Denver School Speech and Debate Team Showcase will be at Anschutz Theatre, Tuesday, March 6th.  Please invite friends and family! We would love a packed house.

This is a great opportunity to see how your students spend their Saturdays throughout the school year. It is also a great way for younger students to learn what Speech & Debate is all about. There will be a lovely dessert buffet starting at 6:30 pm that includes a chocolate fondue fountain and many gluten free options. At 7 pm there will be speech and debate entertainment that is sure to delight.


Use the following link to see how you can help with Showcase:


Help to sponsor the Speech and Debate program. There are different levels of patronage and appreciate anything you can provide. Your sponsorship will be recognized in the Showcase program. The money raised from your sponsorship is used for competition entry fees for all participants, travel subsidies, and scholarship funds that enable all members of the team to participate fully in the program.

Sponsorship levels:

  • Excellence………. $10.00
  • Bronze…………… $50.00
  • Silver……………. $100.00
  • Gold…………….. $500.00
  • Platinum………… $1,000+

All donations can be made by cash or check payable to Kent Denver School with memo of
“Speech and Debate Sponsorship”. Turn in your sponsorship to the Upper School Enterprise desk or on the evening of the Showcase event at the entrance of the theater. Thank you in advance for your support of Kent Denver Speech and Debate – we are very grateful!

Volunteer to Judge at the State Quals and NSDA Quals

Please volunteer to judge at state quals on February 23rd and 24th and NSDA quals on April 6th and 7th.  This is the best time of year to come out and judge.  You will see students selected by their coaches to represent their schools to earn the right to go to state and nationals!

Sign up to judge here.

To judge at state quals, you need to take a test that can be accessed here.  You just need to login and select regional qualifying and state tournament from the drop down menu.  The test takes about a half hour. You can have the handbook open in another tab.  Please note one important difference between the handbook and the test:  the correct answer on the test is that you must say stop at 10:15 or 7:15 (depending on the event), but the handbook says 10:30.  Please select the 10:15 option for those questions.

We know this is a lot to take in, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Ian at

Volunteering to judge at these two tournaments will keep the tournament running on time and ensure that your kids get home at a reasonable hour! (Sadly, a tournament was canceled midway through last week in part because of lack of judges.) Kids love to see parents at the tournament cheering them on. It provides another level of support for our kids who might be quite nervous at such high level tournaments. Even if it’s only for a round or two, the coaches and the tournament would really appreciate your help.

Summer Speech & Debate Camps

From Coaches Mike Bausch and Ian Hopkins:

Many people have asked the coaching staff questions about speech and debate camp, we would like to write to you all to talk about the importance of camp, answer some basic questions about camp, and to explore different camps to talk about their benefits and costs.

Obviously this is meant to start a conversation, we would suggest reaching out to the coaching staff, or to the parents of older students who have attended camp to get their perspective as well.

What is speech and debate camp?

Speech and debate camps are hosted on college campuses around the United States and are sponsored and staffed by college and high school coaches. Many camps take selection of their staff very seriously to ensure that students are receiving the best and most competitively successful faculty to enrich their experience.

Debate camp is a rigorous chance for students to practice their debate skills and research the topic for the next season of debates. Students will spend their days researching and writing arguments, attending topic lectures, and completing practice debates and speeches with guided feedback from their instructors.

Speech camp gives interp students the chance to practice their blocking, acting, and performances in front of dedicated professionals without distraction. Many times, students will leave camp with 1-2 pieces that are nearly performance ready.  In oratory and informative most will leave camp with an edited final draft. And in extemp students will spend two weeks working building content, delivery, and argumentation.  This advantage gives students a major boost over their competitors that are just starting to work in the fall.

Speech and debate camps are useful because they ensure that students can have dedicated time to learning the craft without distractions from school work and the many other events and activities that our students take part in throughout the school year. Focusing only on speech or debate and working hard during the summer is a time when many students make fast leaps and bounds in their abilities.

Speech and debate camp also allow students to network with their peers, judges and with college coaches. It is a great way to improve the standing of students in the community and to make connections with college coaches and programs that may offer students scholarships to compete on their teams.

Ok great, so which debate camps are good?

There are many great debate camps around the country. The camp you should attend is largely determined by your skill level, the financial burden your family can afford, the amount of time you have to spend during the summer, and your overall interest in debate.

NEW Option – for students who are going into their novice year or second year of debate. 

Kent will offer a day camp for students to attend on our campus. This year is a trial run, but if it is successful, it could become a regular thing that is expanded to include more advanced students. The camp will run July 9th – July 20th.

Please reach out to Mike Bausch for more information about this camp!

Camps for students who want to get their feet wet, but don’t have a lot of time, resources, or aren’t sure they LOVE debate yet. 

I would consider attending many of the two-week camps around the country. These are all introductory camps, 2 weeks long, close to Denver (some are), lower cost, and have good faculty members. The 2-week camps are good camps for students who want a short camp experience and are in their first or second year of debate.

  • Gonzaga 2 week
  • Cal 2 week
  • Michigan 2 week (there are several offerings, please consult with Mr. Bausch)
  • Kansas Debate Camp 2-3 week.
  • Wake Forest 2 Week
  • Northwestern 2 week.
  • Dartmouth Debate Institute 2 week.

Camps for students who want to put in a lot of time, but don’t want to attend a premier camp for seven weeks. 

Most of the camps that are above also have 3-4 week camps that will meet student’s needs for a longer and more in depth experience.

Camps for students who want the premier debate package: 

The following three camps are probably the best camps in the country, but they also require the most time and money to attend.

  • Michigan 7 week
  • Michigan State and Georgetown Hoya Spartan Scholars
  • Cal Berkeley 7 week

Here is a list of camps to give you some links to websites to look at:

Here is a comprehensive list of camps, the list is from 2016, but is being updated and will be similarly relevant for this summer. The website also provides links to the camp websites, where you can find information about specific debate camps, their times, cost, and the application to attend.

Warning – there are quite a few camps on here that I wouldn’t send students to. Selecting a camp with high quality instruction is important; there are many camps that I would call scams. They select high school students who had success, but aren’t really invested in teaching or anything else. The students who attend end up receiving a worse education, because the staff of the camp isn’t really invested in improving the kids they are teaching.

Are there camps specifically for LD students?

Absolutely. There are two camps I would suggest sending kids to.

  1. Global Debate Symposium – I really like the head of this program. I have not seen details about the camp yet for this summer.
  2. Victory Briefs institute – they have many camps around the country. Our LD students in the past have attended; I have mixed feelings about the staffing choices. In general, they are one of the best games in town for students that want to learn about LD specifically.

Beyond these camps that focus on LD, I would also suggest to LD students to consider attending a camp for policy debate. Most of the difficult concepts in debate come from things that are used in policy. We have had students see success in learning those skills first hand.

Are there camps for speech students?

Yes! Speech students who attend camp receive the same benefits as students in debate.

Ideally you should be looking at two week camps for speech as well.  Over the course of two weeks students will work closely with instructors, learn how to cut literature, and be able to hone their skills more compared to one week.  On the speech side, camp faculty is important to consider and we encourage you to talk to Ian or other speech coaches before selecting a camp.  Most camps should provide some financial assistance if you need help with the cost of attending camp.

While there are many camps to choose from, there are three that stand out and have produced consistent results for Kent and the speech community in general.

George Mason Institute of Forensics
Dates: July 8-21, 2018
Location: Fairfax, VA (Just outside of Washington, D.C.)
Several Kent students have gone to GMIF throughout the years and have all come back raving about their experiences.  George Mason is a well-rounded camp that excels in teaching all three areas with amazing faculty from across the country.  Over the past decade GMIF students have won multiple national titles in US and International Extemp and national finalists in oratory and duo.  Over the past three years Ian has served as the assistant director of the camp and is happy to answer any questions about GMIF.

University of Texas at Austin
Dates: June 30-July 14, 2018
Location: Austin, TX
UTNIF has continued to build an amazing summer camp down in Austin.  Though the camp has more of a regional focus and their senior faculty are some of the best in the nation.  UT’s program has had recent success in interpretation events in particular.

Interprod (Interp and OO only)
Boston, MA July 7-21, 2018
Des Moines, IA July 22-August 5, 2018
Interprod is known for their work with interpretation events and come on strong in OO over the past few years.  Their curriculum coordinators are strong some supporting staff may not be as well versed as the other camps.  Students have come back from Interprod with finalized scripts and blocking with a lot of success early in the season!

Is this really required?

No student in our program is required to go to camp. You do not have to attend an expensive and fancy speech and debate camp to get better at debate. However, attending a camp is a short cut to getting better at a much faster pace, because it gives students an intensive series of practices for the next year. Additionally attending camp is EXTREMELY fun. Looking back on our high school experience attending speech and debate camp was one of our favorite things.

Wow, this is a lot of information. I still have more questions. 

This is meant to be a starting point learning about speech and debate camps. Please feel free to email any coach about camp. We would love to help you and your student end up in a place that helps them succeed.


Golden Desert Debate Tournament – Results

Kent faced tough competition in Las Vegas last weekend, and collected wins against schools from Idaho, California, Utah and Louisiana.  Detailed results can be found here:  The team will be putting the finishing touches on its arguments for the Cal Berkeley Round Robin and Invitational next week.

State Qualifying Tournament

The State Qualifying Tournament is split into two days

Friday, February 23 events are:

  • HI
  • DI
  • Oratory
  • Extemp
  • Poetry

Saturday, February 24 are:

  • All debate events
  • Info
  • Duo
  • POI

Students competing on Friday will be dismissed at 1:00 pm. The bus will leave at 1:30 pm.  Students may drive themselves, but cannot leave school until 1:30 pm and must follow the bus.  Students can sign up for the bus here.  Sign up must be completed by Wednesday, February 21.  You can follow the tournament schedule here.  The tournament will be at Douglas County High School in Castle Rock.

Lobo Howl Tournament – Results

The KDS Team had another great weekend at the Lobo Howl.  Ester Omegba (’18) was The Tournament Champion in DI.  And, the KDS Team placed third overall.  Congratulations!!  Below is a detailed list of the final awards:

Dramatic Interpretation

  • Esther Omegba (’18) – Tournament Champion

Dramatic Duo

  • Camryn Capoot (’18) and Esther Omegba (’18) – 2nd Place

Humorous Interpretation

  • Adam Slosky (’20) – 5th Place

Informative Speaking

  • Benjamin Hawley (’21) – 5th Place

Lincoln Douglas Debate

  • Ari Aghelvi (’19) – 4th Place

Strive Prep Tournament – Results

The KDS Team had an excellent performance at the Strive Prep Tournament on Saturday.  Kent students received FOUR Tournament Champion awards: Juliette Watkins (’20)/Jude Barakat(’20) and Anna Veltri (’20)/Adelaide Young (’20) in Duo Interpretation, Daniel Chao (’19) in International Extemp, and Tucker Hamilton (’18)/Alex Hsai (’18) in Policy Debate.  In addition, Alex Hsia (’18) received an “Academy Award” for the most speaker points across ALL debate events.  And, Daniel Chao received an “Academy Award” for breaking to finals in three separate events, one of only three students to do so.  Below is a detailed list of the final awards:

Dramatic Interpretation

  • Esther Omegba (’18) – 2nd Place
  • Alice Noble (’19) – 4th Place
  • Vivek Shah (’21) – 5th Place

Duo Interpretation

  • Juliette Watkins (’20)/Jude Barakat(’20) and Anna Veltri (’20)/Adelaide Young (’20) – Tournament Co-Champions
  • Portia Tieze (’18) and Ashley Capoot (’18) – 4th Place
  • Katrina Starbird (’18) and Kristen Schmidt (’18) – 5th Place
  • Jennifer Weiske (’19) and Danielle Tamkin (’19) – 6th Place

Impromptu Speaking

  • Daniel Chao (’19) – 3rd Place

Informative Speaking

  • Daniel Chao (’19) – 3rd Place
  • Benjamin Hawley (’21) – 4th Place
  • Alexandra Haymons (’20) – 5th Place

International Extemp

  • Daniel Chao (’19) – Tournament Champion
  • Jack London (’20) – 5th Place

Lincoln Douglas

  • Sarah London (’19) – 3rd Place
  • Ari Aghelvi (’19) – 4th Place

Policy Debate

  • Tucker Hamilton (’18) and Alex Hsai (’18) – Tournament Champions
  • Eleanor Sullivan (’20) and Jack Landgraff (’20) – 3rd Place

Berkeley Tournament Logistics

The Team will leave for DIA after second period on Friday, February 16 (9:00 am).  Students will miss the rest of that day (B-Day) and all of class on Tuesday, February 20 (C-Day).  Students are responsible for talking to their teachers about these absences and getting any assessments done before they leave for the California.


Friday, February 16th

  • Virgin America Flight 1865
  • Denver to San Francisco 12:00 pm – 1:55 pm

Tuesday February 20th

  • Virgin America Flight 1868
  • San Francisco to Denver 12:25 pm – 3:53 pm

 Transportation from DIA on February 20:

There is a bus available to bring students back to Kent.  Here is a link to the sign up sheet:


  • Students are allowed to carry-on one free bag.  If students want to check a bag, they must pay for it each way.


  • The total cost for the tournament is $575. If you paid your deposit, then the total for the trip is $525. The payment is due February 6th. Make the check out to Kent Denver School.  Please put “Berkeley” in the memo line.
  • If your family is on financial aid through Kent Denver and you need assistance paying for the trip, please contact Mr. Hopkins or Mr. Bausch by February 5th.


  • Four Points by Sheraton San Francisco Bay Bridge, 1603 Powell St. Emeryville, CA 94608 510-547-7888

Patriot Game Tournament – Results

The team competed in a local tournament at George Washington High School with excellent results, including Tournament Championships in two events.  Detailed results are listed below:

Final Rounds:

Drama: Alice Noble (’19) – 5th Place


  • Katrina Starbird (’18) and Kristen Schmidt (’18) Tournament Champions
  • Aaron Mathews (’18) and Tyler Whitaker (’18) – 3rd Place
  • Ashley Capoot (’18) and Portia Tieze (’18) – 4th Place


  • Tyler Whitaker (’18) – Tournament Champion
  • Aaron Mathews (’18) – 3rd Place

International Extemp:

  • Jack London (’20) – 3rd Place
  • Timea Ryan (’20) – 7th Place

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Rory Calison (’19) – 5th Place

Oratory: Emily Amspoker (’21) – 5th Place

Poetry: Lauren Huttner (’20) – 4th Place

POI: Natalie Huttner (’21) – 3rd Place



Humorous Interpretation: Jack Parkhouse (’20) and Adam Slosky (’20)