The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team maintained their successful season, earning seventh place in 4A at the Mustang Classic, held at Natrona County High School in Casper January 27-28. This meet attracted 32 schools with close to 800 total entries. Jackson’s top ten finish was achieved with only two-thirds of the team in attendance. This meet is a precursor to the State meet next month, finding nearly all Wyoming programs competing in Casper. The team is coached by Londe and Peggy Gagnon.
Senior and team captain, Kyler Arriola placed an impressive first in Poetry Interpretation, an event with 98 total entries. He went on to reach semi finals in Humorous Interpretation. Arriola reflected on the weekend saying, “Natrona is one of the hardest meets all year, but everyone is proud of the effort they put in.”
Freshman Maleah Tuttle earned fifth place in Lincoln Douglas Debate, an event that started with 74 entries. She spent the weekend arguing for and against censorship on college campuses. Tuttle’s fifth place award comes on the heels of her third place finish the weekend before in the same event.
Junior Aaron Trauner teamed with senior Mataya Foster to place eleventh in Public Forum Debate out of 65 entries. The team explored the issue of whether or not the U.S should increase military spending. Sophomores Shoshana Sangros and Samantha Smith finished in 15th place in this event as well. Trauner and Smith also performed well in Congressional Debate, placing fifth in their individual chambers. Both missing out on qualifying for the final rounds by one placing.
Coach Londe Gagnon commented on the weekend, saying “Students needed to be near perfect in preliminary rounds to advance. The scores many of our team earned would have advanced them to culminating rounds at any other tournament of the season.”
The team is planning its own invitational tournament on Friday and Saturday, February 3 and 4, 2017. For the home tournament, the Speech Team is still in need of about 70 volunteers to judge for approximately an hour and a half each. Judging guidelines will be provided and several practice judging sessions will be offered. Judging experience is not required.
Events include Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum and Cross Examination Debate, Student Congress, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Humor, Drama, Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation, Informative Speaking, and Duet. Judging these talented high school competitors is an entertaining and rewarding experience. Refreshments and free babysitting will be provided.
If you would be able to volunteer anytime from 4:15 Friday afternoon until 9:00 Friday evening, or from 7:15 AM Saturday until 3:00 PM Saturday, please email coach Londe Gagnon at email@example.com or call her at 307-699-0537.