ACP’s Speech and Debate Team at the Jackrabbit Jamboree


Speech and Debate is a skill-building exercise that includes public speaking, effective communication, and critical thinking. It is typically taught in places like high schools and universities as its own course or as an extracurricular. Students have the chance to advance their communication skills, interact with difficult concepts, and learn how to persuasively explain their position through speech and debate. It is also an enjoyable and interesting method to learn about a variety of subjects, including politics, social concerns, literature, and philosophy. Students can take part in a number of speech and debate events, such as extemporaneous speaking, spontaneous speaking, original oratory, and public forum debate. Each of these situations requires students to conduct informational searches and assess data.

On February 3rd and 4th, ACP’s Speech and Debate team competed at the Jackrabbit Jamboree Tournament and did extraordinarily well! All of the team members put in hours of work during preparation and practice to get as far as they did. I was able to speak with one such team member, Sunny Vakkalanka (grade 12), who has been doing Speech and Debate for three years. He participated in Public Forum (PF), Congress, and Extemp. He chose these three events because they all build off of each other in one way or another, since all three events are evidence-based and technical, and they never get boring. When asked what his favorite part of Speech and Debate was, he responded with talking about the community of the activity- “There’s a certain beauty to the chaos.”

This previous tournament was the biggest tournament of the year, and both Sunny and Rish Nayak (grade 12), Sunny’s PF partner, had lots of great things to say about everyone’s achievements during the event. Now that the competition is over, everyone on the team will be able to look back and improve on what they need to. All of this will lead to hopefully another 1st place for ACP at the Speech and Debate State Tournament.

While Speech and Debate requires lots of work to be put in, there is also always fun to be had. One of Sunny’s favorite memories is when Rish got excited after ‘breaking’ (advancing to the next round) and bought out all of the pizza and snacks available at the very first tournament of the year; as silly as it may be, memories like this one are the ones that stick around for the longest time.

Congratulations to everyone that participated in the event, and don’t forget to strive for the impossible and be extraordinary, Go Knights!