Pathfinder

Sexism in speech and debate: competitive speakers’ fight for their voice

Making final adjustments during practice, junior Fatema Rehmani prepares for the Randy Pierce Winter Classic at Pattonville High School Dec. 7, 2018. Rehmani competed in Program Oral Interpretation, an event in which students incorporate various selections of literature into a 10 minute performance. “This year, I explored some different events in speech and debate, and I’m so grateful for all of the various experiences I’ve gained,” Rehmani said. “But I have noticed there are definitely expectations for certain events or debate in regards to whether it’s for guys or for girls, which is sometimes limiting and frustrating.”
September 11, 2019

It is the conversation that speech and debate coach Cara Borgsmiller is forced to have several times each season. “I talk openly about it, especially the first time they get a ballot that says something...

Debate team has emotional return to nationals

Seniors Gokul Venkatachalam, Kristina Humphrey and Luke Donovan pose with their plaques from the district tournament. Venkatachalam will go to nationals in the “Policy Debate” event and Humphrey and Donovan will compete in the “Duo Interpretation” event. “I’ve never been to the national tournament before,” Humphrey said. “I know it’s very competitive because you’re competing against a bunch of national qualifiers. I hope we can do well, and I doubt we’ll make the final stage, but we’re going to try as hard as we can.”
May 14, 2019

After a successful districts tournament, the speech and debate team will send six students to compete in three different events at the national tournament in Dallas this June. The events of last year have...

Debate team dominates districts tournaments

During the awards ceremony of the 2019 Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Speech and Debate tournament, seniors Luke Donovan and Kristina Humphrey await their names to be announced with their placement. Donavon and Humphrey qualified for state in the duet event and placed second overall in the tournament. “I stayed in speech and debate [for four years] because the team and people from other teams in the district are like my second family. While competition can be brutal, it’s worth it to be with the amazing people in Eastern Missouri,” Humphrey said. “Speech has made me grow as a person significantly. It has given me the opportunity to spread important messages through unique ways of conveying them.” Photo by Fatema Rehmani.
April 4, 2019

The Speech and Debate team has been actively expressing themselves through speeches and performances since 1970. The team is sending seven competitors to the state tournament in Springfield, Mo. and six...

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Cara Borgsmiller