New leadership for award-winning Speech and Debate team

While much of Perry’s attention is dominated by the successful big-name varsity sports, a shift of the spotlight may be set to soon change. Speech and Debate, which, according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association, is in fact classified as a sport itself, is gearing up for a fresh and ambitious year. With competitions and tournaments already set in place, this year’s Speech and Debate team is concentrating more than ever to get their name on the Arizona Speech and Debate leader board.

Starting off with a change in leadership, the club/class hybrid is being led by none other than the new Film Study 1 teacher Leslie Jones.

“It’s exciting to me,” Jones said, “It was just an opportunity for me to do something I’ve never tried…so I think that’s going to be fun.”

Jones continued, expressing her enthusiasm for the upcoming year, “It’s an opportunity to help the kids grow in an area that they’re excited about.”

So far, Speech and Debate is expecting to compete in four tournaments first semester and five tournaments second semester. In these tournaments, the club/class members will be competing against other schools across in the valley, including against the Speech and Debate powerhouses Brophy, Desert Vista, and Hamilton.

In years past, Perry has been at somewhat a disadvantage when faced against the other schools. Current public forum debate captain and junior Hyunjo Park recalls the struggles last year’s team faced in the competitions Perry found itself in.

“We’d have a group of ten to fifteen kids up here at the school and then there’d be a team of one hundred at Desert Vista, and so [this year] we’d definitely like to expand upon our team,” Park said.

Principal Dan Serrano comments on his faith in the program by stating, “I expect it to keep improving, in the past we haven’t dedicated a class to that, and now we have. That’s an indicator that we’re getting more and more kids interested in it.”
Despite the past challenges, Speech and Debate remains confident and optimistic about the fresh year ahead.