Revere Talking Minutemen, ’16-’17

Welcome to speech and debate in 2016-2017, Talking Minutemen. I’m posting this blog primarily for the benefit of those students in speech/debate who were not able to attend our “back to speech and debate” gathering at the Espinals on August 13, or who have joined us since then.

Right now we are looking at as many as 45 FINAL GRAPHICstudents in speech and debate this year. That’s great, and we want to let you know a little about what competition is like, who our coaches and student leaders are, and – a bit more – when we will start practices.

First a bit about me.  This is my ninth year coaching speech and debate and my fourth year with Revere. I was the guy who began the speech and debate program at Brecksville Broadview Heights back in 2008. I have coached dozens of state qualifiers and two students who have competed in the national speech and debate championships, including our president Anthony Pignataro.

If you’ve not done so already, look at a few web sites.  First, here is our web site:

Here is the state’s web site:

Here is the national web site:

You’ll learn a bit about how speech and debate works through viewing these web sites.

Next: We have a terrific set of student leaders for this year. They are:

  • Anthony Pignataro, senior, president and Lincoln Douglas debate
  • Megan Warburton, junior, vice president and Public Forum debate
  • Leah Espinal, junior, vice president and Congressional debate
  • Grace Cao, junior, secretary and Individual Event speaker
  • Melise Williams, sophomore, Individual Event captain
  • Troy Pierson, sophomore, Public Forum debate captain
  • Emily Albert, sophomore, Congressional debate captain

If you attended one of the many speech or debate camps, then we have worked with you and assigned you to a speech or debate category.  If you signed up at Frosh Fest, we are going to begin your 9th grade participation in speech by competing in one of five different individual events: Original Oratory, Declamation, Program Oral Interpretation, Informative Speaking, or International Extemporaneous speaking.

Also, we have FOUR assistant coaches this year.  You will hear more about these later in the academic year, but rest assured that we will have approximately one coach for each 8-9 students who are part of our program. One of my favorite sayings is P-P-P-P-P-P, for proper practice and preparation promotes perfect performance. We will be giving you every opportunity to improve your speaking and debating skills through practice.  Our practice sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings.  Watch for details.

Additionally, we have assistance from a great parent/booster organization, called Revere Speech and Debate Boosters (RSDB for short). They will help us by providing (among other things) judges for speech tournaments.  On average, we need to have one judge for every four students who compete on tournament Saturdays. You will hear more about this soon, but we want you to know that we will be asking each student (parent) to contribute $$$ for judging and to judge a few tournaments.  We will send that information to both you and your parents.

We will also be providing training for parent judges in October – On October 14, 15, and on October 26.  Details forthcoming.

By the way, you might want to share this web site with your parents if/when ask you about how important speech and debate might be to your future:

We do need three things from you. If you are a newcomer (first year in the program) please EMAIL the following to our Secretary Grace Cao, who’s email is:

They are:

  • A parent’s name and email address (with whom our RSDB can communicate)
  • Your cell phone number
  • Then, we need you to circle and save SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 on your calendar. That is the first speech/debate tournament of the 2016-2017 season.  It is known as the Akron and Canton Districts NOVICE tournament, and it will be held at GlenOak School near Canton.  ALL FIRST YEAR COMPETITORS are encouraged to attend this tournament.

If you are signed up for Debate (Public Forum or Lincoln Douglas), you will be hearing from Anthony or Troy about “Debate School” beginning on September 14. This will be the first of three, one-hour education sessions where we will teach more details about debate and prepare you further for the season. The sessions will be on Wednesday, Sept. 14-21-28.

If you signed up at Frosh Fest, Captain Melise Williams will be in touch with you soon via email. We want to work with you to select an individual event, and begin to have you thinking about that first speech you give.

A couple of final things:

1)      Speech/debate is considered an “academic letter” activity at Revere  If you attend the Novice Tournament plus seven additional tournaments in the course of the you, and you attend practices regularly, you will be eligible to earn an academic “R” for speech/debate this year. So look at our calendar for the season (you can find it on the web site), and circle and save the Saturdays for competition. (Again, look at the calendar on the web site. Basically these are every Saturday beginning at the end of October, except for Holidays, from October 29 through January 28)

2)      Watch for SIGNS.  All returning speech/debate competitors PLUS those who attended summer camps and have committed to speech/debate will have signs up on their lockers soon.  NEWCOMERS – Your sign will go up on your locker as well, after you’ve attended a couple of practices and have committed to speech/debate for Revere.

Below are a few tips for 9th graders who are new to Revere High School, courtesy of our officers and your coach.  BE PREPARED when classes begin on Wednesday, August 24.

TIP 1 — WRITE IT DOWN: Research shows that when you use an assignment book and/or planner and write down your assignments, you have 40 percent better odds of completing them.

 TIP 2 – PRIORITIZE: What’s most important? What’s next in importance?  Always do what’s the most important first in your studies. The test on Friday should receive a lot more time/attention than a 10-point quiz coming up on Monday, for example.

TIP 3 – GET INVOLVED!  There are so many amazing clubs and activities at the high to join. Don’t do nothing.

TIP 4 — DON’T SLACK OFF! All your grades count toward your high school transcript when you apply for a college or university. What you do in your freshman year WILL SHOW UP with  all your other classes on application forms.

Speak With Room-Filling Energy,

Coach K.

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