Speech and Debate


One of Ashland High School’s most lauded extra curricular activities is the Speech and Debate program.  Headed by Robert Bingham, the team often travels to tournaments throughout Oregon.  Students participate in events such as original oratory, policy debate, public forum, and parliamentary debate.  More events do occur but have ridiculous names, for example:  Extemporaneous.  From a pool of 110 district tournaments nationwide, top competitors are selected to go to a National tournament: a week long event which is this year in Kansas City, Kansas, where competitors face off against the best speakers and debaters in the nation.  The winners are awarded more than $200,000 in college scholarships.

At the most recent event attended by AHS, a national qualifying tournament, many Ashland students took first place allowing them to go to Kansas to compete in nationals.  The stakes were incredibly high as the loss of two rounds by a competitor resulted in an automatic drop.  Winners from Ashland included:  Grady Killeen and Noah Falkner in policy debate, Erin Stewart in Lincoln Douglas debate, Cass Anderson and John Ropp in public forum debate, Brielle Preskenis in original oratory, Scotty Gordon in International Extemporaneous speaking and Joseph Livni in Domestic Extemporaneous.

Next, the AHS speech and debate team will be going to the state qualifying tournament on Saturday, April 12 at Ashland High School. From there, they will travel to Western Oregon University to compete in the state tournament to try to improve on last year’s third place finish.