Winter Team Dinner

The Speech and Debate Team Dinner will be held on February 13 beginning 6 pm in Grant Hall.  Please note: this dinner is for STUDENTS ONLY.

Thank you again to the following families for generously volunteering to sponsor this event:

  • Parkhouse Family
  • Meyers-Saffold Family
  • Fitez Family
  • Taro Family
  • Landgraff Family
  • Hogan Family

Speech Coaching Philosophy – from Ian Hopkins, Speech Team Director


Hello! I am so excited that your child is doing speech at Kent Denver!


I wanted to take some time to the speech coaching process and philosophy that we use. As a general rule we expect students to be working with a coach or captain a half hour a week per event to be on the team.


Each Friday or Saturday speech kids will receive an email to sign up for a coaching slot on Google Docs. We ask that they sign up for just a half hour per event to start to ensure there is equal amounts of time for everyone to sign up. After 3pm on Sunday students may sign up for an additional coaching slot per event if they are available (students must sign up 24 hours in advance of a slot so that coaches may adequately plan their time). When students sign up for a practice slot, they are signing up for that particular time and not a coach. This is done to ensure the students are matched a coach who is particularly strong in an event so they get the most out of their coaching time. Around noon the day they are signed up to coach I will email them to let them know who they will be working with.

The Speech Coaching Staff includes: Abby Deely, Eddie Young, Jen Woodley, and myself. Coaching takes place Monday through Thursday from after school until 7:00pm. Additionally, myself and Abby (the new forensics fellow) are also free during the day to coach during off periods if schedules line up.

Cheers to the Novices!

Congrats to the fresh young faces who have made it through the gauntlet of their first set of tournaments. Good luck to all as you move on to the big kids playground. While the list below shows what the freshmen competed in during the novice season, keep in mind that the students may switch events through the season.

CX competitors:

Griffin Batt
Connor Capoot
Rorrik Holmes 
Jolie Kim
Amelia Saffold                                                        
Dhruv Sharma
Paul Skok                                                 
LD competitors:
Alex Barker
Jack Gowen
Katja Matter
Morgan Myhill
Marcus Tsuei
Speech Competitors:
Emily Amspoker (Informative and OO)
Lucy Fitez (DI)
Bradley Frank  (DI)
Natalie Huttner (POI)
Janet McDermott and Lauren Krauss (Duo)
Vivek Shah (DI)
Vincent Tran  (DI)

Tournament results – Heart of Texas Invitational @ St. Mark’s School, Dallas

Over 600 debaters from over 30 states converged at St. Mark’s school last weekend to compete. The KDS debate team had an excellent tournament. We had 3three competitors in the LD open division, a team in the Sophomore Hoe Down, and a team on the Policy open division. The team collectively defeated schools from Texas, Missouri, Illinois, and California.

A special shout to Dan Taro (LD), who narrowly missed clearing by 1 ballot.
Nick Krauss and Jakob Kim (CX) finished preliminary debates as the 8th overall seed in the tournament. They also earned their first bid to the Tournament of Champions that takes place at the end of the academic year. Nick Krauss was also ranked the 20th overall speaker.

Up next for the debate team is Fall Break and then a trip to the USC Round Robin and then the Notre Dame debate tournament. We are taking a many of student competitors. Please wish us luck in Los Angeles!

Tournament results – Bruin Novice Tournament

Hats off to the novice competitors for completing their first tournament. Novice tournaments allow new competitors to gain experience in their events in a more relaxed tournament settings as well as exposure to the judging system.

The following Kent students earned recognitions at the Bruin Novice Tournament:
Vivek Shah – 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation
Emily Amspoker – 1st in Oratory
Natalie Huttner – 1st in POI
Morgan Myhill – Superior in Lincoln Douglas
Jack Gowan – Excellent in Lincoln Douglas

Student Voices – Kristen Schmidt (Duo and DI)

Kristen is a senior who has done Dramatic Interpretation and Duo since she was a freshman.

Please tell us about one of your events, and how you are preparing for the upcoming tournament season:

Duo interpretation is my favorite event, and the one I am so happy to continue with this year. In duo you and your partner can’t touch or look at each other, which is at points difficult, but ultimately so impressive when you are able to portray the idea of your script and relationship in a powerful way without speaking face to face. The amazing thing about duo is it can be any genre of script that you want, and you get to do it with someone else. It is scary to rely on someone else in an event, but it also allows you to feed off of their energy during the piece, and creates a bond outside of speech and debate. The piece my partner, Katrina, and I picked this year is about abortion. We have done several read throughs and cuttings of the script and are about to dive into the memorization. I am so happy with my script and my duo partner so I am very excited.

What is Lincoln Douglas Debate?

To help you understand the various Speech & Debate disciplines, we’ll take a quick look at the different events in the coming weeks.

Lincoln Douglas is a one on one debate format that consists of speeches, rebuttals, and cross examination. According to the National Speech and Debate Association, “individuals who enjoy LD like exploring questions of how society ought to be. Many people refer to LD Debate as a “values” debate, as questions of morality and justice are commonly examined.” LD debaters are known to enjoy philosophy, be quite intellectual, and to love winning arguments. They can talk fast when needed, but don’t always feel compelled to.

Topics for Lincoln Douglas Debate change every two months. There is also a Novice Topic at the start of the season. The current topics are as follows:

Novice Topic:
Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.
September/October Topic:
Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory.

Jeff Josephs serves as the Lincoln Douglas coach extraordinaire for Kent Denver. Jeff is father to two Kent high schoolers, including CX debater Caden Joseph. In his non-coaching life, Jeff is an immigration attorney.

Student Voices – Danielle Tamkin (CX Debate)

Danielle is a junior who has been deeply involved in getting novice team members ready for their first tournaments.

What have you been doing to help novices get ready for the start of the novice season?

We are really excited to be working with so many novices this year. On the debate side, our main goal in preparing people for tournaments is to practice what it is like to be in a debate. This is through a variety of activities such as watching some of our varsity members debate each other, giving their own practice speeches, and having full length Lincoln Douglas and Policy debates. This will hopefully help our novices figure out good ways to answer arguments, and also just get a sense for what a round will be like. As a novice, your first debate is always super hard, partially because you don’t know what to expect, so we hope that we are making it easier.

Practice debates and discussions are also a great way for us to help our novices start to think about our cases and come up with arguments and answers to various points. The LD topic right now is asking whether military service should be compulsory, and the policy resolution for this year is about education reform. In policy (which is the event that I do) we have been talking our case which centers around the efficacy of our education program compared to other countries’, inequality in access to good education, and whether or not the federal government should get to regulate education at all.

Our novices seem to be getting the hang of it (even though it is very challenging and can be super overwhelming) and we can’t wait for them to have the opportunity to compete and have the full speech and debate experience!

KDS Speech & Debate Logo Wear – on sale through Oct 13th only

www.kds-spiritwear.org
(scroll to the bottom of screen to see Speech & Debate team items)
Clothing and other items decorated with Kent Speech & Debate logo is available for purchase if you want to show your team spirit.
Online orders will be sent in a single shipment to Kent, so there will not be a shipping charge. Contact Diana Capoot with questions – diana.capoot@me.com.
Anyone needing financial assistance with spirit wear should contact Priscilla Scobie at pscobie@kentdenver.org.