Pathfinder

Speech and Debate

Speech and Debate

Tyler Kinzy, Managing Editor-in-Chief December 22, 2020

When the average American hears the word debate, they likely think of election season shouting matches that seem to focus on soundbites more than substance. Competitive speech and debate, however, is a...

Staying six feet apart, senior Laura Young collaborates with fellow teammates in order to run a smooth and efficient tournament. Young was part of the several students selected by Borgsmiller to go to the library and run the online tournament in-person. “While it made communication harder, it was really nice to be able to see my teammates, even from a distance,” Young said.

Speech and Debate team host Parkway’s first online debate tournament

Thomas Bruns, Staff Writer December 10, 2020

Switching from running around rooms, to managing Zooms, the debate team made history by hosting Eastern Missouri’s biggest debate tournament, Oct. 6-7. Led by head coach and debate teacher Cara Borgsmiller,...

Posing for the photo, alumnus Stuart Portman smiles for the camera. Portman has been working at the U.S. Senate for over six years. “It’s a really cool role because there’s only one of me, so I really focus my coursework and my studies on Medicaid and low-income insurance programs so that I could continue learning. It just so happened to have been to this path,” Portman said. “Ive been in the Senate for about five years, and I’ve been in this role for two and a half.”

Alumnus Stuart Portman takes an unconventional path to work at the U.S. Senate

Ridwan Oyebamiji, Features Editor January 30, 2020

Always showing a passion for health and politics, alumna Stuart Portman combined his interests to become an advisor at the U.S. Senate. Portman’s Journey After graduating high school in 2009, Portman...

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.”

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

Tyler Kinzy, Deputy Managing EiC 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...

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.”

Debate team has emotional return to nationals

Peyton Gaskill, Staff Writer 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...

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.

Debate team dominates districts tournaments

Fatema Rehmani, Staff Writer 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...

Juniors Rithvik Karthikeyan and Connor Olliff arrange trophies in the debate classroom after school Sept. 24. Olliff hopes that by replacing trophies with random objects, the team can best honor alumni Haran Kumar. We’ve had to think about how we can better remember one of our graduates, and we want to hold [the tournament] in his honor, Olliff said. We’re trying a lot harder to make it perfect this year so it’s in perfect remembrance of him.

Speech and debate team honors Haran Kumar through tournament

Kathryn McAuliffe, Convergent Media Writer October 2, 2018

Alumni Haran Kumar’s legacy will be integrated into the first speech and debate Eastern Missouri invitational tournament, hosted at Parkway West Oct. 12 and 13. “We want to live the things that...

With a trophy in hand, speech and debate coach Cara Borgsmiller congratulates senior Cheryl Ma. She alongside fellow senior Ryan OConnor qualified for the 2018 National Speech & Debate Tournament in public forum debate after going undefeated at the Eastern Missouri district tournament. “It was really exciting. It was different than it is for most people because Ryan and I were undefeated the whole tournament, so they decided [we qualified] automatically even before the actual awards were announced since we were the only undefeated team,” Ma said. “We found out before the actual awards ceremony, so it relieved a lot of pressure because usually people are very anxious during awards.”

Four students prepare for upcoming National Speech & Debate Tournament

Tyler Kinzy, Staff Writer May 10, 2018

After posting a combined 13-1 record at the Eastern Missouri district tournament, junior Gokul Venkatachalam and senior Haran Kumar qualified for the 2018 National Speech & Debate Tournament in policy...

Senior Salmoi Inje works on homework in the library. “I’m in debate and mock trial so I’m not really a sports person. My interests are very much academic. I want to go into Pediatrics so I’ll probably go through some pre-med track and then figure out my special later,” Inje said.

Senior Salomi Inje struggles with FAFSA as a non-U.S. citizen

Carly Anderson, Managing EiC Intern January 10, 2018

After taking her ACT in June of 2017, senior Salomi Inje received a perfect score—a 36 out of 36. Inje was also a National Merit Semifinalist. These accomplishments should have qualified her for automatic...

Meet the novices

Meet the novices

Maddie Cooke, Staff Writer February 2, 2016
Four new debate members share about their novice experience
Load More Stories
Activate Search
The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High
Speech and Debate