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Emerson Speech and Debate

Welcome back to Speech and Debate 2018-19 - Emerson's 7th season!

You can find the new season speech schedule and the events at each tournament on the left hand side in the "Speech and Debate Locker."  The debate season schedule is coming soon.  Make sure to check out the SCJFL website - the link is in the locker, too!

  • Our first speech tournament will be at Jefferson Middle School in San Gabriel on Friday, October 19th (3:30 PM start time).
  • Our first debate tournament will be on Saturday, October 27 at East Los Angeles College (8 AM start time).

Public Forum topic announced for Sept/Oct 2018

Public Forum Debate – 2018 September/October Topic Area: U.S Foreign Policy

Resolved: The United States should accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea without reservations. Voting for Nov/Dec topic will be help online the last week of September.


CHAMPS of SO-CAL! Emerson Soars in State Competition May 2018
Emerson soars in State Competition May 2017-18
Rotary Club Luncheon Speaking Engagement
Rotary Club Luncheon Speaking Engagement
T-4 Competitors
T-4 Competitors
Public Forum Team: Veronica, Marcus, and Coach Matthew K
3rd place team, first place speaker points  Veronica
Awards Ceremony T-3 Go Panthers!
Awards Ceremony T-3 Go Panthers!
T-3 Declamation Competitors - Go Panthers!
T-3 Declamation Competitors - Go Panthers!
T-3 Impromptu Competitors - Go Panthers!
T-3 Impromptu Competitors - Go Panthers!
T-2 Original Oratory Squad - Well done Orators!
T-2 Original Oratory Squad - Well done Orators!
T-2 Impromptu Squad!
T-2 Impromptu Squad!
T-2 DUET Acting and Dramatic Interp!
T-2 DUET Acting and Dramatic Interp!
T-2 Storytellers!
T-2 Storytellers!

Tournament 2 Events

The second speech tournament of the year will be at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood on Friday, December 1.  The five events will be ...

  • DI - Dramatic Interpretation (cutting: 10 minutes maximum), cutting from published novel, short story, etc.
  • OO - Original Oratory (10 max), original student writing
  • ST - Storytelling (5 max - may use one chair), published children's literature  
  • IMP - Impromptu (7 max, "bank") - spontaneous speaking, limited prep
  • DUET - Duet Acting (7) - from a published play or screenplay

8 Panthers "break" to FINAL ROUND at Jefferson Tournament !

SCJFL Tournament 1 at Jefferson Middle School on Friday 10/13 was a huge success!  We learned so much and had loads of fun!  

BREAKING to final round were:


Rookie Stanford SPAR Debate

  • Benjamin Goodman - 6th place
  • Jordan Davis - 2nd place

Open Stanford SPAR Debate

  • Mingus Powers - 8th place
  • Marcus Razo - 5th place
  • Ayden Craymer - 2nd place

Prose Interp

  • Maeve Higbie - 4th place

Original Poetry and Prose

  • Katie Cohen - 3rd place

Informative Speaking

  • Hailey Stackpoole - 2nd place

(If you want to see more details, follow the link (in the locker to the left) to the tab results page for T-1.)


Congratulations to ALL our panther competitors - job well-done.  We're so proud of you!

After T-1 awards
After T-1 awards at Jefferson MS

Emerson's 6th Season!

Dear Panthers and parents,  

     Welcome to our new Speech and Debate page for the 2017-18 season!  Please check here often for weekly details for club, deadlines for each tournament, announcements, and resources.  We look forward to having the best season ever.  For an overview of each tournament, please open the document (on the left, in our locker) named "Tournament Schedule."

     Here's an important date to keep in mind: Friday, February 23.  Emerson will be hosting tournament 3 for the Southern California Junior Forensic League.  Up to 20 schools and academies will be competing on our campus.  We are still looking for a lead parent (or parents) for this school year.  For more information, please contact Ms. Nakada or Ms. Parker.

     Emerson Community Charter School is a proud member of the National Speech and Debate Association Honor Society and the Southern California Junior Forensic League.

     Thank you to PACE for continuing to support this program! - Ms. Parker



Emerson Debaters visit La Salle Debate tournament

On Saturday 10/21, four students observed Congressional Debate at D-2 in Pasadena at La Salle HS.  Veronica, Ayden, Mingus and Marcus are beginning to prepare for T-3!  Congress is one of the five events at the Emerson's tournament in February.  Way to train Panthers!


Please review this document carefully in the locker to the left.  Show you parents.  Ask us if you need help. How you dress matters!


Alums say "Bon Voyage!" to Coach Keogh at summer gathering

Our asst. coach for three years, Ethan Keogh, has taken a teaching post in Cabo, Mexico.  Alums (Hannah-Grace, Pradeep, Estlin, Patience, and Akira), former lead parents (Becky Kneubuhl and Jocelyn Tabata), and Ms. Parker wish him a fond farewell at July gathering.  

Thank you Ethan!
Thank you Ethan!


This year's BIG QUESTION is ,,,


Resolved:  Humans are primarily driven by self-interest.



Check out the Wilkins Brothers on YouTube or Speech Geek!

Speech enthusiasts!!  Have you checked out the Wilkins Brother Video links?

  • WB. Dramatic Structure (for Interp Cuttings)
  • WB. How to Write an Intro
  • WB. How to Pop and Morph!
  • WB. How to Make an Interp Cutting

The links are in our S&D page locker on the left-hand side of the page.  Look under "WB" at the bottom of the locker (alphabetical).  The links might not work in school but they will work at home!

Katie, Luna, Nikita & Hailey with LACES mentor, Sophie.
LACES mentor Sophie Sanchez with Hailey, Katie, Nikita, and Luna
Public Forum team Katie and Marcus with Uni mentor Aaron
Public Forum debaters with Uni mentor Aaron
Advanced Debaters: Katie, Henry, Luna and Marcus with NoHo mentor, Matthew
Advanced Debaters: Matthew (mentor), Katie, Luna and Marcus
First Speech and Debate meeting of the year attended by 20 dedicated panthers!
First club meeting of the year attended by 20 brave panthers!
Alumna, Vero, and brand new 6th grade debaters
Alumna, Vero, and brand new 6th grade debaters

VERO broke to Quarterfinals in Impromptu - top 24 in nation!

A Letter From Veronica: Reflection on Nationals 2018

August 12, 2018


Good morning, Ms. Parker and S&D teammates!


When I first got to Nationals, I was terrified and really alone. It was scary, and a big part of me still didn't believe I belonged there. I felt like I wasn't ready yet and I wasn't good enough to participate. As time went on though, I met more people, saw some familiar faces, and realized that everyone was there for the same reason I was, to just have the experience. As I talked to the other kids and learned more about them, I found out that half the other kids there were also there for the first time. The rooms were just like rooms you'd find at State, CHAMPS, even local tournaments. There were some truly exceptional kids, obviously, but even so, the tournament felt like State Level Two. 


In terms of my health problems, I'm good now. I got my wisdom teeth removed a couple weeks after the tournament and I'm almost fully recovered from that. Sometimes, when I yawn, I stretch the place where they did surgery and it hurts a little. 


It took me a while to fully get it, but I think it was worth it. I'm glad I got all my fear and anxiety out of the way before I continue my forensics career in high school. I'm glad I had the experience, and I'm proud of myself for sticking through it, even though there were moments when I wanted nothing more than to run back to the airport and go home. As for advice, I'm not sure any advice I have can be applied to anyone who isn't going to NATs alone, but here's what I have. 


1. Make sure to unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders, and take a deep breath every once and awhile. 


2. Don't make the trip all about Nationals, that's what I did because we didn't have enough money, but the few moments where I had time to do anything that wasn't Speech and Debate related were precious. I'm sure if I spent more time in Florida before and after NATs, I probably would've been a lot calmer. 


3. Talk to people. NATs is a competition, yes, but if you go there and see everyone there as an opponent, you'll feel a lot more terrified of everyone. Learning about the other kids and making friends will make you feel more at home, and ease your nerves as well as theirs too. 

4. Eat something. Every chance you get. I barely had time to eat and there's nothing louder than an empty stomach in a room of quiet, nervous children. 


5. Finally, give it your all. That's pretty cliche, I know, but it's good. If you're an 8th grader, NATs is your last tournament in Middle School Forensics! If you're a 7th grader, you're going to your first NATs! That's huge! Don't let your fear hold you back; when you get up and say your name, the room is yours. You're there because you have something to say, so say it like your life depends on it. That's what Hannah told me to remind myself when I got there and I took it to heart and did as much as I could. No one else has the same exact speech or piece you do, so take advantage of that! 


Bonus Number 6, 7, and 8! The tournament will still run late, most of the judges are parents (and still have no idea what they're doing), and don't start arguments with kids from Republican states and households. Obviously, don't stereotype and assume stuff because of someone's politics, but there was this one kid from Texas with some questionableviews, he tried to argue with me about gun control... My point is, don't fall for it and don't be the one to try and initiate it. Heated and borderline offensive debates/arguments about politics are for actual debate and the internet only. 

And parties, of course. 


That's all I got! My mom is watching Avengers: Infinity War next to me as I write this, and Peter Parker is saying his last words to his father figure Tony Stark while he's slowly turning into dust. Oh dear, I don't feel so good... In all seriousness, though, anything you do for the first time will no doubt be terrifying. That rule applies to Nationals too. Just remember why you agreed to go in the first place and how lucky you are to just be able to consider it. Have fun at Emerson, keep the revolution alive, and don't stop doing Speech and Debate! 


With love, 

Verónica Hernandez


Emerson to host third tournament: February 22, 2019!

For the fourth year in a row, Emerson will again host a speech tournament on our campus in February!  Stayed tuned for more details.

CHAMPS Tournament: May 12 & 13 2018 at ELAC

CHAMPS, Southern California's "State," will be held at East Los Angeles College on May 12 and 13.  

Pattern A: Duo Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking, Original Oratory, and Prose

Pattern B: Declamation, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry, and Storytelling, Extemporaneous Speaking

Sunday Supplementals are INF and SPAR.

Pattern C:  PF, LD, Congress.


Qualifying students can pick up to 2 events from Pattern A and B.  OR one from Pattern C.  You can enter the supplemental events are only if you did not break on Saturday.

Who broke to final round in T-4?

  • Hailey Stackpoole (7) = 5th place in very competitive Humorous Interp field
  • Ayden Craymer (8) = in a crowded SPAR field
  • Mingus Powers (8) = 3rd place in SPAR
  • Gabby Hernandez (6) = broke in open poetry
  • Sophie Gopen (6) = 6th place in a crowded Poetry field
  • Kelsey Stuback (6) = 6th place in sight-reading
  • Maeve Higbie (8) = 4th place in sight-reading



T-4 EVENTS, April 13th

SPAR (2-2-5-2-2)

HI - Humorous Interp (10)

PO - Poetry Interp (black book- 7)

SR - Sight Reading/Cold reading (2 min prep - audition required)

Who broke to finals? Emerson Tournament Feb 23rd

  • Congressional Debate - Elle C, Ayden C
  • Declamation - Jalen T
  • POI - Katie C, Nikita A, Veronica H
  • Impromptu - Veronica H, Mingus P
On the Way to Walter Reed and SCJFL T-2!
On the Way to Walter Reed and SCJFL T-2!

Speech and Debate Hallway Display Cases are Migrating in February!

The Speech and Debate display cases are migrating to the other end of the Admin Building.  They will be across from Ms. Muckenthaler and Ms. Ciafone Office, near the Speech and Debate Office.

Head coaches: Ms. Parker & Ms. Nakada
2017-18 Speech and Debate Season
Uni High School Mentor, Pradeep with Veronica and Jalen
Uni High School Mentor, Pradeep with Veronica and Jalen
Hannah Grace - UCLA Assistant Speech Coach
Hannah Grace S. UCLA Assistant Speech Coach
Aaron - high school mentor (UNI)
Aaron R. University High Mentor for Debate
Sophie - High School mentor (LACES)
High School mentor Sophie S (LACES)
On our way to T-1
On our way to T-1
Team selfie outside 104 - Jefferson, here we come!
Team selfie outside 104 - Jefferson, here we come!