Knight Times

The Student News Site of Arizona College Prep

Knight Times

Knight Times

Speech and Debates’ Several Tournament Wins


ACP’s Speech and Debate team has done a phenomenal job this year, claiming many victories a long the way. I was able to interview Mr. Rumsey, the speech and debate instructor. He explains that having won four Speech and Debate tournaments this year, he is “mostly just proud of our team and our culture. I’m proud of the students because they’re the ones who put in so much work.”

As for how he became interested in Speech and Debate, he noted that “It happened because the first year I came here, I was teaching freshman English and I wanted a way to challenge my students more. I felt like I needed to raise the bar for them, so I got the idea to do debates in class. I researched high school debate and found public forum debates and started doing debates in my classroom once every quarter. The students started coming back from my 9th grade English class, begging me to start a team, and after three years, they finally wore me down and that’s how I got into it.” The students prepare mostly on their own, with Mr. Rumsey typically training and overseeing the leader of each group. This year, they have been preparing since right after they lost last year. As Mr. Rumsey explains, “We really got ready for this state tournament after we lost last year by twelve points, which is really really close and everybody was really upset we lost. We came in second, but we still felt like we lost. We sat down and talked for two weeks about what we can do to be better this year, and we’ve worked that plan all year long. So really, we started preparing for this state tournament right after we lost last year’s state championship.”

Their second core value is “iron sharpens iron,” and they really have bought into that. They help each other even though they realize the person they’re helping might actually win. They care about everyone’s growth and that they’re all there to make each other better. They genuinely are proud of their teammates when they win trophies, even if they don’t. He is most proud of the fact that they are not toxic. To anyone who wants to join Speech and Debate, Mr. Rumsey advises that you “don’t let fear ever dictate your decisions. In other words, go out, and don’t worry whether you’ll make the team. If you’re thinking about going out for Speech and Debate and you have apprehension or fear about the idea of doing it, do it anyway.” Mr. Rumsey and the Speech and Debate Team have truly shown hard work and dedication to the ACP community, as well as proving that they are an amazing representative for tournaments. Go Knights!

More to Discover