Lakes High School’s speech and debate club has only been in existence for one year, but its members are already making a name for themselves. Sophomores Collete Moss and Perri Pettit recently competed in the state speech and debate tournament and walked away with 16th and 21st place finishes, respectively.
“We competed against 48 people in each of our categories and I think we did really well for our first state competition,” said Moss who competed in the Dramatic Interpretation category reading “Cold Blooded Murderer” by Pen Wilson.
Pettit competed in the Impromptu category, which consisted of three rounds. During each round, competitors got to select between three topics and had six minutes to prepare and deliver their answers. Pettit spoke about “enemies” and responded to two famous quotations.
“Competition was challenging, but a lot of fun,” said Pettit who joined the club just a few months ago. “Every time we compete, we learn a lot and get good feedback from the judges.”
Lakes’ Speech and Debate club was created by sophomore Angela Jong last school year. History teachers Donald Donn and Andrea Dunnavant are the club’s co-advisors.
“Angela approached me and asked me to be the club’s advisor,” said Donn. “When Angela asks you to do something, it’s really hard to say no-she is a very determined and driven student and has built this club from the ground up.”
Both Donn and Dunnavant have debate experience from their time in high school, but credit the club’s successes to its members.
“These kids have done everything on their own from practicing to fundraising and finding transportation to tournaments-they are amazing,” said Donn. “We are also fortunate that Lakes’ staff and students have been strong supporters of the club and have helped when possible.”
Both Moss and Pettit excitedly encouraged Lakewood community members to get involved in the club no matter how big or small.
“If community members have speech and debate experience and want to coach us, make a small donation to cover tournament costs or just give us feedback-we welcome the help,” said Pettit.