One Speech at a Time, Debate Team Earns Points for State


Raiyan Shaik

Enthusiastically saying her piece, sophomore Ramya Nambala discusses the details of standardized testing during Debate practice. “While I love debating, I love our team more,” Nambala said. “We’re all very supportive of each other, and since we don’t have too many or too little members, I’ve cultivated close friendships.”

Raiyan Shaik, Reporter

Standardized tests. Human trafficking. Gene Editing. Guantanamo Bay. These are only a few of the topics the Speech and Debate team has come across this school year. 

The Speech and Debate team participates in countless activities related to public speaking, research and debating. The team runs practices and goes to many tournaments to compete in their respective events. 

I like how in Debate we get to speak about different things, and it’s really interesting to see other people’s opinions on the same topic,” freshman Gabriel Parra said. “It opens your mind to the little bubble that we live in. I personally have learned a lot more about speech-making, what to look for in terms of evidence, and how to sound better in front of people.”

The team participates in a variety of events including Congressional Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum, Oratory and more. 

“Most people don’t know about the different events we have to offer in Debate,” Parra said. “This club works on one’s speaking skills, speech writing skills, and research skills. There’s a lot more than just LD Debate. There’s something for everybody. ”

The team competes in tournaments, primarily from the Texas Forensics Association,  nearly every week. The next tournament for the team is on Nov. 11 at James Bowie High School. 

“The goal of the team is to win TFA state points in order to better represent VRHS at the state and national level,” junior Amod Daherkar said. “We usually prepare for tournaments with in class practice, lectures, as well as group research. Personally, me and my partner do speech drills to hone our argumentative and speaking skills for our upcoming tournaments.”

While there is a Debate class, the club consists of members from the official class as well as the club. 

“Everyone is welcome, and you don’t have to be enrolled in the class to participate in the club,” Parra said. “I want the Debate Club to be a learning environment for anyone who wants to try a debate or get better at it. People should join this club to become better speakers, researchers, and to have fun.”

Practices are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.

Debate is very beneficial to those who participate in it as it builds a strong understanding of various issues that are prevalent around the world and here in America,” Daherkar said. “One of my favorite aspects of debate is finding like-minded, yet different people from schools all across Texas and the US who share a similar passion and a common sense of competition.”

Students can join the team by coming to Tuesday practice in Rm. 2501 or joining the class.

“The single most powerful element of Debate is strengthening one’s own advocacy skills which we not only use all across our competition events but in our day to day lives as well,” Daherkar said. “It gives you the ability to advocate on your own behalf and develop powerful public speaking skills.”

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