NKN Speech & Debate team set sights

(From Left) Hannah Barlow, Rowen Phoenix, Ecca Fry, Megan Troutman, Kandle Werner, Alyssa Ahlers, Gabe Calkins, Emily Stanfield, Bella Grimes, Isis Breazile, Shayla Wacker, Mei Shiomi, Kara Rumage, Kaitlynn Koch, Fred Camacho.

Social stigmas dissipate as NKN Speech and Debate team readies for state competition this Spring.

By Brian Cameron
April 19 to April 21 marks the dates for competing students to take part in the state competition, which will be held in Monmouth, Ore.
“The students and the team are looking really good this year,” said Kelly Thayer, NKN Speech and Debate coach.“
With a large crew of 20 students the Speech and Debate team is focused on placing in a variety of categories that are separated between speech events and debate events.
Speech challenges students in topics such as poetry, prose, duel interpretation, humorous interpretation and dramatic styles. Where the Debate side focuses on parliamentary style and Lincoln Douglas style debate strategy.
Thayer credits this as her first year coaching Speech and Debate and mentions her daughter is interested in poetry which drove Thayer to lead the team this year.
“The students voted to have one tournament a month which will ultimately get them ready for the state level tournament in April,” said Thayer. “I’m pretty excited about it all myself even with the long hours and travel times that go along with the needs of the team, sometimes I’m just getting home at midnight.”
The students who choose to join the team come from a varied history, and some started with little or no experience in the speech and debate world.
“We have students who average a 4.0 on the team, and we have students who don’t,” said Thayer. “It’s a pretty wide spectrum of students and its interesting to see the social clicks and stigmas dissipate when they get together as a team to strategize what they’re going to do.”
The State level competition is scheduled for April 19-21 and will be held at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.